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Nearly Relevant
Nonsense, Fiction, and Miscellaneous Things

". . . without letting them catch on your anger or pride, . . ."
"      A playground dispute in the fourth grade concluded with a barrage of epithets hurled at me, each one more stinging than the one before.  I was called every derogatory name for Indians that two white fourth grade classmates could remember.  Stunned, I could think of nothing equally hurtful to throw back.
     That evening still hurting from the insults, I told my grandfather about the incident.

     "Words can hurt," he said, "but only if you let them. They called you bad names.  Were you changed into the things they called you?"

     "No," I replied.

     "You cannot forget what they said any more than you cannot feel the wind when it blows.  But if you learn to let the wind blow through you, you will take away its power to blow you down.  If you let the words pass through you, without letting them catch on your anger or pride, you will not feel them."

     My grandfather's wise counsel has helped me through many storms in life.  How his quiet, yet powerful comments influenced me, and still do, is one of my favorite stories.

. . .

I, for one, am always willing to recall and retell the stories I have heard.  Especially when the wind blows.2                                           "

                                                                                                Joseph M. Marshall III
                                                                                                Sicangu Oglala Lakota

1 the lakota way:  stories and lessons for living,
Joseph M. Marshall III, pg. xi, ©2002, Penguin Compass of Penguin Group

2 Ibid, pg. xiv

Abelard and Heloise, Letters
     So, I came across a reference to the letters of Abelard and Heloise http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aah/aah03.htm and a characterization of the two lovers as a kind of first known example - apparently the relationship actually existed - of a Romeo and Juliet type love.  The set of letters, written around 1100, was fairly short which further piqued my interest;  As if I could get right to the nitty-gritty and not sort through a bunch of junk.

     The letters, at first, seemed selfish and vain;
 "My master used all his artifice to defeat my hopes, but in vain; and on this occasion I triumphed over his cunning as before I had done over his learning.  My lectures were always crowded, . . ."1  - Abelard
 ". . . the representation of our sufferings and revolutions."2  - Heloise
     Later, as the two correspond with each other rather than simply recall events, they become more demonstrative. The personal nature of the relationship is revealed;
"When I pronounced my sad vow I then had about me your last letters in which you protested your whole being wholly mine, and would never live but to love me. It is to you therefore I have offered myself; you had my heart and I had yours; do not demand anything back. You must bear with my passion as a thing which of right belongs to you, and from which you can be no ways disengaged."3   - Heloise
     The letters were fun to read.  Consternation among considerations - about love in general, about the particulars of their love, about a higher calling than love, etc. - was nearly as interesting as the professions of love.
     An abbreviated history of their relationship after the letters doesn't give any sign of a continued love.  Apparently, each found solace and then purpose in their respective religious duties and didn't communicate on their previous love.  This apparent end is not so much disheartening in it's revelation of dying love but in it's revealing a, possibly, more temporal affair then the letters suggested.  However, the two were later buried together which suggests a permanence of affairs rather than a temporal one.

1http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aah/aah03.htm  pg. 3,4

2http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aah/aah04.htm   pg. 21

3http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/aah/aah04.htm  pg. 35

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