The Rules of Engagement

Day 344…

The struggle shows up because she said she would write responses to visual art for a patriotic exhibit that will hang in remembrance of 9/11.   A month ago she viewed the inspiring artwork, but now without the images in front of her, all she is reacting to is war.   And she does not like war.

Her first drafts sound didactic; they lack spirit.  She wants to give up.

She calls her friend Lynn instead.  She worked with her in Alternative to Violence Workshops and walked with her and Sister Margaret during Desert Storm.  She needs to remember these experiences.

An hour and a half later, she feels refreshed, although not yet ready to return to her work.  Something else is stirring inside her.  Memories of personal conflict are making their appearances.

So much has been merely passive and /or aggressive reactions.  What are the rules for meaningful engagement?  She turns to her muse.

I don’t like mindless reactions to conflict.

So use your non-violent experiences, Laura.

I’m trying.  But there’s so much noise.

Yeah, there is.

I’ve been told I’m subtle.

Is that a bad thing?

Maybe not.  But it means I’m easily overlooked.

Don’t be so sure.  There are others like you.  They too are subtle on their own.  Maybe y’all should combine forces. (In a non-violent way, of course.)

How do I do that?

Well, what did you do today?

I called Lynn.

That’s a good beginning.  Now go write those responses with spirit. And drop the pedantry.  School doesn’t start for another three weeks.


No problem.

Writing topic:  An engaging spirit


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