Before I started blogging, I was a journaler. I still journal every morning, but some of the reflecting I used to do in the pages of a journal now show up in my blog. This morning, as I wrote, I thought about all of the ideas I don’t and won’t put in the blog.
For example, I resist blogging about politics, even though I have some pretty strong ideas about that. In my efforts to promote peace, I try to honor opposing points of view. In writing, this can appear to be waffling. In my view, I see it as an attempt to look at the deeper threads where people are actually together rather than in opposition. In order to communicate that one usually has to spend lots of words and sometimes seem to talk in circles.
I feel sometimes like the father figure in “Fiddler on the Roof”. In his self-talk Tevye states his opinion rather strongly, then he says, “On the other hand” and considers another way to look at the same problem. Under consideration is his three daughters breaking with the tradition of his people to marry men whom they love rather than the ones chosen by the matchmaker. When the third daughter, Chave, chooses to marry outside the faith, Tevye finds he cannot bend further. “There is no other hand,” he proclaims.
I have reached this point, the line in the sand over which I dare not tread. Yet, as the story of Tevye and his family comes to a close and the people of the village are leaving, driven out by the Russians, Chave, stops as she is on her way out with her beloved. She says goodbye to her mother and sisters, but Tevye refuses to acknowledge her. As she walks away, he says, “And God be with you.” The rigid stick bends, the line is stepped over. The audience knows that there will be a happy ending. This family will be reunited.
As I consider my political positions and those of my so-called opponents, I tend to think we are like Tevye’s family. It is not our differences of opinion that are our problem, but our rigidness, our bullheadedness. “There is no other hand!” we say. It is with a statement of faith that Tevye opens the door to reconciliation with his daughter. “And God be with you.”
When I figure out how to write with an open door, I will start writing about politics.