No, no I don't want to go back to
meditation or church or worshipping
groups of any kind.
No, no; all of that is past for me; there's no
telling about the future, of course.
Certainly, for now, all of that kind of
religious practice is out for me.
I had my share of it. I don't mind, but I'm
glad it's over. Instead, I've always wanted
to bring the actual practice of meditation
and worship to my daily life; somehow
integrate it, not as a separate matter but as
something lived. Or else, it all means
nothing to me.
None of it I would change, really. I met
some great and wonderful people and
some things were difficult for me, but grace
was always active. There's a religious term.
But I've found no substitute for the word
grace. Perhaps that hold-over can remain.
Grace -- a physical manifestation of an
invisible or spiritual power; the presence of
care and fortitude and benevolence.
Webster's Dictionary defines grace as 1 a:
unmerited divine assistance given humans for
their regeneration or sanctification b: a virtue
coming from God c: a state of sanctification
enjoyed through divine grace, and so on.
Anger too is grace, I think. Sometimes for
some of us, anger is the only thing that
wakes us up and pushes us forward. For
me, it's been that way, I know. Every major
decision I have made in my life has come
from the grace of anger.
I do not recommend this be so. I am only
stating that for me, it has been so.
Some sense of indignation has so riled me
that I was made to come to my senses by it.
When I refused to return to Fort Kent High
School to retrieve my records for the move
to Presque Isle High School, it was due to
the utter embarrassment I had experienced
at that school.
It caused me to weep -- even as an adult,
years later -- to recount what had happened
to me there. It was in part due to one
student's ability to so put me down and a
teacher's lack of understanding and a
principal's weighty need to punish a whole
class for the behavior of a few -- which for
me was utter chaos and injustice, the
breaking point of my humiliation.
It was anger and heartbreak that caused me
to do the right thing by my father when he
was in the hospital and dying. I would
return from Boston to spend the next three
years at home with my parents through the
events of my father's death and my
It was anger that people could so meddle in
my personal life as to cause me to move
away and into another way of life because I
felt the need to do something, but it had to
be on my own terms, not anyone else's.
It was anger that pushed me ahead once
again when I was compelled to leave one
way of life not knowing what lay ahead, but
certain that the decision was a forward
It was anger and a sense of freedom at last
that provoked me to pull back from too
much activity in order to contemplate what
really mattered in my life and how my
involvement in the world as a peacemaker
had to begin with my own inner peace and
sense of solitude. I had to get at the root of
my anger in order to better realize that
peace would become a life choosing, not
just a by-product that came without effort.
Anger is grace when anger moves me
toward peace and the hard, hard work of
peace-making within myself and in my
relationships with the world around me.
Consciousness does not allow for in-
authenticity; consciousness frees me to
cooperate by choice with grace, and often
anger has been the wake-up call.