"Battles you win....wars, less so."
This line is for a warrior who may never see it. She is a silhouette on the hill, lightning flashing behind her in a Frazetta painting forced to life. She is a bona fide, sword-wielding fighter of the tide. Again and again she has proven herself in battles you have never seen, nor will ever read about. They are not the sort that are recorded for study or reflection. Our recorders of history do not believe there are things to learn from them. They are wrong.
I know what you are thinking. But do not for a moment think these are figurative, bloodless battles. There is blood and on both sides. She has killed and died many times over in the name of what matters. At the time of this writing she is down for the count, her vitals - negligible - and no one is betting on a comeback.
But they are wrong. She's got a backup plan, an auxiliary system kicking in as the crowd starts to disperse. Some call is a failsafe, as if failing were the endgame. No, she's failed before, but knows its all Nietzschian process through and through.
I'm kind of a fan. Win or lose, the battle is fought, and its very undertaking is the thing. Each brave stance against the All is no fools chance, but an empirical proof of life.
I will not hold her up as Hero. I refuse to do that to her. I have no need to commit her to that binary. Each time she wins, she is not elevated to some higher order, but rather is placed - like a suddenly more precious stone - deeper in the setting of the ring.
We've all had our Waterloos. We've lost innocences we can't keep track of. Entire species inside us have fallen or mutated, as needed. But in each of these trials there is a moment that defines not us, but the moment itself.
"Behind nothing, before nothing, worship it the zero."
It is an instant within which intersects victory, loss, and the dare. It is in this vital moment that life - its conscious enactment - is the thing. It is the difference between lying down your arms and the impossible leap forward that constitutes true courage.
I write this now not to spur her on, not to slap her back into consciousness. She does not need that. Though I have never spent a day in her shoes, I know the places over which she has tread. I write this to record a fraction, in infinitesimal cross-section our history books would otherwise leave fade in the horizon.
Do not pity her or worry. That will do no good. She will rise again or die a warrior's death. Either is acceptable to her. Better to put your energy into your own moments and move your own forward. This, this is what will help the whole of us. This is the moment which , in the end, is the difference between an honorable conclusion to our days and a forfeit truly worth lamenting.