The House of Love: Where does violence fit in our lives? / by Birdie Busch

yesterday i was working at the tearoom and beyond the foreground of happy friends and tea revelers i saw a young couple walking briskly down the street through the window yelling in each other's faces in a side-swiping manner akin to two sparring race cars. i followed them with my eyes and watched the man forceably throw her over a line of bushes. i ran out and started yelling at him in expletives that he in no way has the right to hit her, to which the girl thankfully and sheepishly agreed and walked quickly off one way as the man the other. he got into a car, sped off, and with my adrenaline pumping i went back into the calm of the shop.

an hour later i received a phone call on the store's landline. it was the man apologizing to me that it had happened. i was reticent to accept an apology, for it seemed perhaps an attempt to quell any calls to police, but also an attempt to dispel the occurrence through words not action. i tried to let him know that it was not an apology i wanted but for him to consider how the future should hold for him a non-violent possibility and he seemed annoyed he had even called. i was imagining the girl finding herself around the corner, literally and figuratively, and hoping that both of them in some way at some point could find it in themselves to reject this violence from their lives. that may be long off. but when it happened, whenever the first time was for them, the trust between them was changed forever.

violence is like a nuclear bomb dropped on trust and the comparison leads me right into thinking about something that i've wrestled with in my psyche as a human on this earth: that in my core i believe so truly that non-violence is the most holy of paths. it's not even something that i want to argue or debate over tables, Facebook comments, chat rooms, board rooms. i feel in my heart that trust in my life has only been able to develop to its most holy place through unabashed, some might say naive, over assuming our kindredness more than differences peaceful process. this feeling has made me feel quite strange here. i don't know where to place myself and this feeling. when i look at a photo of my grandfather in a leather bomber standing in front of a world war 2 fighter plane i look into the frozen moment's eyes and get lost, wondering what feelings swirled in their minds? am i an ungrateful brat or a child of god? or both?

violence. is it all of the same place? or can we justify fighting to get to a non-violent future? or is violence just always shape-shifting? and is it strange for me to assume what works in the microcosm of my life will work for a world at large? but if violence is involved, trust to me never feels fully realized or gained. this perhaps has come to be one of the most conflicted contemplations and spiritual journeys of my life.

and now getting back to that moment yesterday. i hope that the man who called, albeit perhaps more subconsciously, called because he saw the eyes of the community and he looked back into them. i hope he saw that more than punishment we want to see change. and not only change for her, but change for him. because life is a long dark endless night if you think violence has a place in the house of love.