Saturday, May 14, 2011

Loved By Your Enemy

I love the works of Joy Harjo, whether it is just poems or the poems put to music. She has written some very powerful works that if you listen to them, they make you go inside and really think. Every time I listen to her stuff, I always get something different from it.

Joy Harjo is famous to many for her poem titled, "Fear Poem". She also has a CD called "Letter From The End Of The Twentieth Century" that I love to listen to. My other favorite poem is "She Had Some Horses".

On the CD, there is a song "Letter From The End Of The Twentieth Century" that is also the same title as the CD. It is a song that I think is appropriate for today in my mind because of the events that have just unfolded.

In the song she talks about riding in a taxi in Chicago, with the driver Rammi. The story continues to unfold about Rammi's friend, that one morning someone asked him for money as he was filling up his car with gas. He told the person, that he was sorry but he did not have anything he could give him. As the friend turned his back to finish filling his gas tank up, a gunshot wound killed his friend.

A family member of his murdered friend decided to track the killer down. He wanted to get revenge and take the life of the killer but his mother's grief moves his heart. In the words of his mother, "there is always a choice, even after death."

As his heart was warmed by his mother's words, the story says that he gives the killer his favorite name and calls him his brother. The killer is no longer shamed but filled with remorse and cries the cries of a thousand years. The killer learns to love himself as he never could because his enemies love him.

It is a powerful story and poem that Joy Harjo puts to music but it really reminds me that no matter what choices we make, we can impact others in a positive way or we can continue to carry with us, what happened in a distant time. Our anger is often justified, but what we do with that anger is what makes us human.

You really need to check out the song because it is much more powerful to hear than what I can share in these words. It truly brings this entire story and thought alive if you listen to it.

Further Information
1) Fear Of The Dentist, Part 3
2) Letter From The End Of The Twentieth Century on iTunes

Blog Post & Images (c) 5/2/11 Don Shetterly - use by permission only

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