Wednesday, May 20, 2009

for the Warrior

"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.

7 comments:

tracy kendall said...

What moments have her trials defined?

Michael K. Gause said...

There are an intersection of possibilities, each line originating from a different point in the past, some from her own, some from others with whom she has interacted. She has split souls in the name of love, keeping that notion alive for the rest of us. She has given herself over to breeding, that we may benefit from the blood of the future.

So many of her battles are visible only close to ground zero, with ever lessening ripples emanating from the intersection of Blaine and 42nd. On any given day, you can feel the ground shake while enjoying a ham and cheese at Jake's. She's a back alley Robin Hood. I've seen her save children from the hunger of a meaningless life.

t kendall said...

In that instant within, this fraction recorded, this cross-section of history not to be left out of the books
is she a mode of transportation
an intersection of emotion
a social worker with a handout on two palms extended?

or will you not clarify her in a more tangible way?

Michael K. Gause said...

She is a mode of transportation. She is an intersection of emotion. And she is a social worker with palms extended. She is this and much more. Tell more only leads further from the truth. It is an asymptotic approach, and I have gotten as close as I can without rendering her less.

She is many things, included whatever conjurings you yourself could come up with, for she is also fodder for hearts everywhere.

t kendall said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael K. Gause said...

No. She is not the line approaching zero. Any description of her is, can only approach what she is.

She is a human, a woman, and a warrior. She is a tangible thing to the hand, the lips.

I have described her as intended. Any more and we begin to pull away.

She is, and she continues. And so do I.

t kendall said...

Now that was well put.