Wounding and healing are not opposites. They’re part of the same thing. It is our wounds that enable us to be compassionate with the wounds of others. It is our limitations that make us kind to the limitations of other people. . . . I think I have served people perfectly with parts of myself I used to be ashamed of.
Paul K. Chappell On The Urgent Need For Peace Literacy
The most dangerous weapons of war in the twenty-first century are not bullets and bombs; they are the weaponization of this rage, mistrust, alienation, and other tangles of trauma, which make all forms of violence more likely.
The first was that I was no longer in pain; I could sleep. / The second was that I was finally able to love: all my life I had been more or less shut. / The third was that I lived near a pond. Watching the mallards dunk made me laugh. I was happy looking at dragonflies and even their empty exoskeletons, their shells shaking a little in the wind.
It’s dark and I don’t feel / at all well and my mother / will soon arrive to take me / home and the overripe aroma / of the hedges with the tiny / white flowers is making me / want to throw up but I’m / not alone because a fellow / counselor-in-training, / my first friend who is a boy, / has left the camp sleepover / to wait with me
Today in heaven / my father turned 105. / Finally working steady daylight, / he’s got it knocked: / eight to four, / double time and a half, / no asbestos, / no shoveling slag / on the open hearth, / no boss, / thirteen weeks vacation annually, / kingdom come. / The union up here takes zero shit.