I took the Sarah and Charu to the Martin Luther King Day march. We marched about five blocks then took the car up the march route to watch from the street. I want my girls to understand the cost of freedom. So often it seems that freedom means I can do what I want, which is true in some respects. But I want them to know that freedom is not just about being able to do what you want. Freedom is something inside you too. Freedom is what Dr. King tried to live out. I think about that as I face this upcoming trial in GA. The type of freedom Dr. King had is an internal freedom that comes with facing his own violences and disarming himself. Then he could honestly speak up boldly and with compassion and love. He understood that no one wins unless we all win. It is not a battle us against them. It is a matter of disarming myself and living this love boldly.
I am working on my statement to the Judge Faircloth. It is simply a story I want to share. It is the story of facing the guns of the mercenaries and the consequences of love. Stories, especially true stories, seem to disarm folks. We all have stories to tell. I didn't remember this story for a long, long time. I guess it was too scary. Gosh, when I did remember it, I was scared. But I wanted to share this story because it happens everyday...the story of the defenseless facing the powerful. All too often those who are defenseless are silenced. I want to tell the story for all those silenced. There is this vast cloud of witnesses whose names we do not know but who walk with us. I know this sounds a bit vauge and out there but it is as real as your hand in front of your face. It happens everyday...So I don't have anything new or profound to share. The profundity is in the simplicity of the story.
I guess I could go in and lecture the judge, or try to at least. I could tell him everything that is wrong with SOA/WHINSEC. But I think he knows. At least for the past 10 years he has heard the arugment. I will not be found not guilty so this is not about my defense. It is simply telling a story that happened to happen to me and it is a story that has happened to thousands upon thousands of folks in Latin America and throughout the world.
I really pray for the soldiers who pull the triggers, who maime and kill...because the damage killing someone does to your heart must be deep and wide. To live with the screams, the dying, the crying. To see the pain and know they inflicted it. That must be a great burden to carry. I know they did something wrong and the poor person they shot and killed, their family who grieves also has pain and suffering...but the soldier is a person too. They have feelings and dreams and fears as well. I want to try to love them as well. I hope I tell the story to disarm them too.
I will try to write everyday through out these days leading up to and after the trial. I have never been on trial before so I am a bit anxious. I think it's normal. Just so I can move beyond the nerves to calm. That is my prayer.