Saturday, February 7, 2009

the dictionary: malignant; malevolent

malignant - showing great malevolence; actively evil in nature

malevolent - having or exhibiting ill will
from the latin
malus - bad
and volens - to will or intend.

an evil force outside of myself
evil invaders who break into my home
tie me up
make me helpless
as I watch them rape my wife and kill her
slit the throats of my children
steal my belongings
torture me
in my powerlessness
to this great ill will
that leaves me to burn
in the rubble
of what once was my home
until all that remains
is
smoldering
ash.

i do not know this malevolent force
that wishes my undoing
it is an inheritance from
the rapists murderers and pillagers.
they want me to believe.
they need me to believe.

instead i have a wolf
same as francis' wolf of gubbio.

when the villagers of gubbio cried out for help
the holy man
came to the rescue
but instead of driving the wolf away
that had murdered and eaten children
and hunters alike
that had struck fear into all the villagers -
he went into the forest to talk to the wolf
and the villagers cried out
"oh no! don't do that! he'll kill you!"
but francis walked into the dark woods
unarmed except for invisible protection
and when he found the dangerous matted stinking wolf
he reached out his hand and said
"bless you brother wolf"
and having only been cursed before and never been blessed
and having never been called "brother" before
the wolf stopped to listen
and francis continued
in intimate conversation.

from the darkened woods they emerged together
walking toward the city gate
and the villagers screamed to kill the wolf
to hang him as was the custom
but francis said, "no."

"good people of gubbio" he addressed them
"this is your wolf."
"what? this isn't our wolf! he's not ours! he needs to be killed!" they protested.
francis countered "he is your wolf - and he has been very hungry
he has agreed to stop killing you to fill his hunger
but you must agree to feed him
and keep him from starvation
this is your wolf people of gubbio
and you must feed him."

from that day on
the skinny hungry wolf
would travel each morning from house to house
looking for scraps left by the door
by the woman of the house.

and there was no more killing.

i live with a wolf.
he's not a malevolent force
that wishes me evil.
he hungers for my attention
i do not know why
but every day he shows up
at my door
hungry
wanting
and i choose to invite him in
for something to eat
a cup of coffee
or green tea
and conversation
and listening
about life as a wolf
and being
so
misunderstood.


2 comments:

tarzan said...

I do not think the conversation and relationship with the wolf is as important as the fact that you are willing to invite him in. As St. Francis went into the woods, not knowing how the meeting with the wolf would go, he must have been at least a little nervous…..and yet, with faith, knowing God was with him, he set forth on his journey.. It takes a lot of internal strength to take that first step…… to open the door, or start into the woods. It seems if you can do that, you’ve almost conquered the hardest part.

Sandi said...

Your three parter is rich and has the ring of truth. First, there is hatred, then the fight, and, finally, cautiously coexisting with the beast. This deserves applause!