Something broken…

“Something broken cuts deeper than something whole. Something broken can kill like a shard of ice,” he said.

Timothee DeFombelle

Today I witnessed first hand, the sharpness of something broken as it tore into someone. I wish I could say that it was a broken bottle that sliced through flesh, its sharp edges carving a gaping chasm through flesh, but it wasn’t a broken bottle, it was much worse. I watched one person use their words and wounded pride to slash at another. I watched them aim their blows at soft flesh and throw up verbal shields in their own defence. It was disturbing -far worse than watching someone draw blood – because I was watching someone trying to crush a spirit, to ease their own pain by causing pain in another.

It’s not the first time I have witnessed such a battle; it won’t  be the last. It never gets easier. When I was twelve I watched as my grandmother (whom I love dearly) tore into my mother (whom I also love dearly) in front of my then ten-year-old brother and myself. The hostility was palpable, the words tangible, as though I could see them shoot through the air at high speed and find their home deep in my mother’s heart. I saw them crush her. I watched her bleed salty tears of humiliation. I ached to see two women whom I loved vomit their pain into the air I had to breathe. Did it affect me? Need I answer that?

Why do we lash out at others when we feel hurt? Why do we claw our way up out of the dirt to grab hold of them and pull them down into the mud with us again. When someone wounds us, why do we engage them and tie them to ourselves with arguments, and grudges, and unforgivness? I’d like to think that I’d rather see the back end of some small minded person as they walked away leaving me behind, than try to hold on to them while we tangle in the mud.

I said I’d like to think that about myself, but I know that when push(them) comes to shove(me), I react rather than respond. It’s the law of first response. But if the quote from Mr DeFombelle is anything to go by, perhaps I should stop and think. What is broken in this person that attacks me that causes them to cut so deep; what is broken that makes them want to kill? And what is broken in me to want to fight back?

No one wins in an argument like the one I saw today, except maybe the high horses who will,  most likely, be fed a good meal of oats and rumination tonight, who will have their riders for company as they lick their respective wounds, sharpen their respective arrows and saddle their respective horses…forget that, the word ‘respect’ doesn’t belong in this conversation.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Cindy Lee
    Jul 23, 2011 @ 22:00:55

    Ari … I’m inspired by how perfectly you craft & weave words & create such vividly visual stories … I felt the pain of that encounter as if I were there. Truly a gift my beautiful friend.



  2. LetterzToNoOne
    Jul 09, 2011 @ 22:00:03

    Good post!!



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