O Counsellor, My Sistah Friend
18 Months Ending at Sea
My Dearest Co Conspirator –
I had intended to write you long before now, but somehow I became caught up in the affairs of the world, the
dealings of life.
But your last note to me caused me to pause and to reflect on just what this brown skinned woman was supposed
to be wrapped up in, instead of these other things stealing away at my rhythm, and my rhyme, and the very essence
of my being. You said:
Lo, stop fighting Bahá’u’lláh and joyously go where He wants you to! You know He
has more pulling power than
Well, love, if the truth were told, there is no fight left in me. Somehow, perhaps in the last battle, I was
wounded with a bullet that pierced my heart, and someone--maybe one of His servants--was kind enough to drag me to
the sidelines. I know from what I recall of the incident that it could not have been me that made it to the dug
hole, for the strength was not in me. All my wind had made haste, had left me.
As I lay there in the fox hole trying to catch my breath, I soon wondered how my wound would heal, for the
hole was too deep and not really wide enough for the sun to come in. So, on that first night, I placed my hand over
my wound, prayed for the pain to offer me a respite, and God, hearing, and God, seeing, allowed me to drift into
another place. Sleep finally came.
The next day I awakened, still in the hole, and noted there was no longer the rattling of guns, or soldiers
moving in unison; the silence was in some ways deafening and at the same time scary, for while resting to regain my
strength, I reached down to feel my legs and they were both numb. It was then that I panicked. There would be no
way to climb out of this pit without legs and without another soldier coming to my aid armed with rope and a strong
back. But … there was my duffle bag lying in the dirt beside me, and it contained food and water rations, enough to
last another day or two.
It is ok. I told myself, I can use this downtime to heal, knowing “that which doesn’t kill you can only make
When the pain was at its worst during those first few hours, I opened my eyes just long enough to see, feel
for my father’s hands. I never saw, but trusted They were there. Making contact with his pinky finger, I grabbed it
as if it was a robe, and I drifted off to sleep again. Three hours passed, then six, then nine as I drifted in and
out of consciousness. I dreamt of the Fast and wondered how in the world I could join in. Would I ever again be
accepted at the Table of his bounty?
I came to and found myself at my brother’s home. Larry had been an ex soldier himself. He would know how to
wrap the wounds; he would care for me, and he did. In no time I was back on my feet. Thank God I was out of that
sunless hole. As the doctor released me from his care, so did my brother. So I decided to wait a minute, just a
minute, before joining the army
And, my dear, I am here now, still waiting. The scars on my chest that I witness as I bathe each day are a
constant reminder of the first bullet, that first assault. It is still in my mind like it was
These days the recruiting station seems so distant, and I am older now. My skills not as keen as they were,
in fact, probably non existent now from lack of use. For, the biggest weapon I had in the battle, I can no longer
carry, haven’t used it in so long. I've even forgotten which closet I buried it in.
O Counsellor, My Sister-Friend, do you recall Toni Morison’s Beloved, and the scene
where all the black church folk came to stand outside the home of the naked, pregnant haunt? They came when they
learned she had taken possession of the mind of her mother; the mother’s guilt of her past had been too much for
her to shake. Killing, of course, for whatever reason, being against the laws of God. Redemption would be hard even
if it could find its way to the entry point of her mother's heart. So these women had come to exorcize, to redeem,
to reclaim her mind and allow her spirit’s relief, and imminent flight to reach her Lord.
“Wherever two are gathered in my name…”
There is nothing left for me to ask. There is nothing I need. The rations will last another few hours. The
winds from the waves comfort me. My exile can not be much longer now.
It is enough.
And Miller Williams would be the first to tell you
"It does not have to be worth the dying…"
Yes, it’s true, I’ve lost one of the pillars that sustain soldiers, and I fear to join the battle again: I am
still too weak from the scars to even consider it. And pride keeps me from asking to borrow yours.
So I say again, it is enough. It is enough.
If you will send just one pillar up on my behalf. I know that will be enough.
Til next time,
This is Lo and I gots to go…’cause I’m running for my life.
PS--Your paragraph subsequent to the Lo, Stop
fighting -- I hope you can retrieve the original email -- will
be doable in its entirety if your response gives me one excellent reason (or, in the alternative, two really good
ones) as to why…why I should re-enlist in His army when all roads thus far have led to no, no, know
28 May 2007