Afterthought 133—The Kindness and the Threat

Posted in nothing special by maggie on 2015/03/24

The threat is stronger than its execution.
— Aron Nimzowitsch

Some loves want leaving behind.
Enough Then, Sara

"Through this door," you speak to our shared pain,
"we'll no more come in, only dawn tomorrow leave."
And point to the great oak door of that old inn where we've taken two rooms, one week reserved. One full week, to satisfy a friend's kind request that we wait, that we hear, that we know the truth. We could not say no. He was right. He meant well and I know the way, from back when through before. But a flickering fire deepest against black stone opens and closes for us, against us another door. So the men share war stories and local legends and I spin soft spells into a swirling red wine as you sing barely breath enough to carry a note. Then speak. The men cease talking. A tear drops into my glass. "Already?" I can finally inquire. You look to the black window for another voice to intervene. No. This as far north as we'll get, soft kindness giving way to the force of threat. Some loves want leaving behind, not by our choice but by theirs. Here we share stories, wine, fire — our morning's road won't reach this night again.


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  1. clarioretenebris said, on 2015/03/24 at 12:04

    No. His threat marked only the moment as she turned
    around to come back home. As that inn’s fire burned
    down, she wanted to believe our kind encouraging word
    against the talk trashing us, despite all she’d heard
    of how unwanted we all were – surely that didn’t mean
    her too. What had she ever done to warrant so obscene
    and so brutally direct an attack against her the same
    as the threats made against any still holding that name
    in honor (as you yourself know all too painfully well)?
    But no. His threat has no power to control nor compel
    except for any who accept its version of admitted lies,
    and she knew him wrong, how even lost love never dies.
    So his threat only marked when she turned to leave
    without even the goodbye kiss she knew she’d receive.

  2. davidelicet said, on 2015/03/24 at 13:38

    I agree with Cyn. Ask your friend, who took the hit for that week for us. He encouraged and expected the best for us without asking in return. And then he was graceful when we departed prematurely.

    And he did as much as me or anyone else to help Sara steer clear of bitter regret and hold to her love. Sara wrote of that love wanting leaving, but that never meant that she ever gave up on hers, even against threat.

    The threat was real and did hurt her, that is true and it did show in her final writings. But threat has no real power, not even to control its own way. That night in the inn, those threats only helped her see that it was time to go, that’s all. The threat never robbed her of the kind touch of the hand that had sent us there. That endured then, as it still does.

    • maggie said, on 2015/03/24 at 14:57

      Thank you for your comment, David. I know it is still hard for you, so I especially appreciate your thoughtful response.

      Know that I mean no disrespect of her nor of her feelings and her words. She remains like a dear sister to me.

      Call this blues on the eve of Iggy’s birthday, as we roll around to the anniversary of those difficult days that followed his birth. I will always celebrate her life, as she wishes. But I know how her eyes looked that night in that inn, how she longed for that one last kiss.

      Our kind friend and benefactor knew that too, and did what he could. And he doesn’t even repudiate the threats that she had to bear (as he himself had to face, as did we all), rather simply advised patience and forgiveness – maybe that’s why Sara merely turned from the threat, instead of fighting back for what ought to have been right. I’m not so sanguine – when someone can only control what he claims his by kicking at everyone else he sees as a threat, he only lowers his own respect for what he clutches. I found the threats offensive then, and I still do.

      But you’re right, and thank you for helping me see, that she was careful to say only that some loves want leaving, not that she had left hers, even as she turned to come home. When I come back around to the revision of this poem, I’ll work to reflect that in my own song.

      • davidelicet said, on 2015/03/26 at 03:32

        It’s not fair and it’s not right and there’s absolutely no good in it. How when the only problem you ever had was having to swallow the false faults found in you, somehow failure to do so only becomes greater a sin. How only by kicking others down can some fake value be imagined in place of true beauty and worth. How one can so terribly miss what it means for you and Sara to show honor through your own children, that the destruction of those children must be sought so the truth won’t ever be known. Sad and terrible and rather ridiculous a thing to control, especially when it exiles the very friends who can and do love you without having to destroy everything else along the way to do so.

        I did find the threat offensive too, believe me. Even after Sara ought to have posed no threat to his control, the threats became all the more heated and severe and way too real. You knew I had to shut down so much of her stuff for protection and had to change phone numbers and e-mail addresses and bank accounts that were being attacked, but if you only knew how much farther it went, you’d bloody scream. So senseless, so stupid, the whole damn mess never amounting to anything past the refusal to accept that we are scum and the refusal to deny our love. Amazing, the extent to which some will go to hurt others in order to control their own delusions.

        My only thing here, though, was that Sara found her peace with it. She was injured by the crude insults and threatened acts and she was hurt at being forced to leave alone a love she had found to be so dear to her. But your friend was able to help Sara see and know of her own beauty without making someone else appear ugly in the process. So the arrows eventually began bouncing off her, I think. To her, the kindness was far more powerful than any and all execution to which we have been sentenced.

        • maggie said, on 2015/03/26 at 05:29

          Fantastic birthday party! Iggy is quite a fine little boy, and Cyn has done so well with him. You gave us all a very good day, lots of lasting smiles and warm memories.

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