Monday, May 2, 2011

The Dark King is Dead

My idea this morning was to write about royalty. I've been thinking about it since the royal wedding, thinking about how, as an American, I could never quite understand the way my British friends feel about their monarch and her family. Most of my British friends are either slightly anti-royal or fiercely anti-royal. They find my fascination with the crown vulgar, or at least misguided, since we have no royal family here.

If my beloved George Washington had accepted the crown, who knows what the U.S. would look like now? Washington was offered the job of King of America, oh yeah. The amazing this is: he said no thank you. What a guy.

I try to remember that all the monarchies in Europe, once upon a time, did not exist. Somewhere along the way, warrior-chiefs decided to make themselves kings. It was a trend that swept through Europe way back when. The royal families were not ordained by God or anything. Nevertheless, over time and after a few generations, the royals generate a different energy than the rest of us. It's palpable. So interesting to think about.

I was going to write about idealized monarchs, King Arthur for instance. I was going to write about Ghenghis Khan and his great, harrowing life as Emperor of a huge swath of Asia and Europe.

But then this morning I heard that Osama Bin Laden has been killed. That news took the air out of my lungs for a minute or two. As I said the other day when I posted a tarot image of the World Trade Center tower, on fire and falling, even though 9/11 was ten years ago, it still has traumatic resonance when I think about that terrible day.

But I do NOT cheer or celebrate this assassination. I'm surprised by the news, and it does feel like closure in a certain way, but partying all night because someone has been killed? I don't get it.

In his own way, Bin Laden was a dark king, royalty of the wrong kind. May he find peace and healing beyond the veil and may the orgy of celebrative revenge so many people are now experiencing fade sooner rather than later. May it be so.

One of my Facebook friends posted this Ghandi quote this morning: "An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind."

I agree completely. Oh yeah.


The Pollinatrix said...

How fitting to have The Emperor on your sidebar.

I too find the jubilant reactions disturbing, not just because they demonstrate an ugliness but also because it shows just how much humans place faith in symbols. As though killing bin Laden fixes or validates something, or somehow "frees" us. Crazy.

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes, I did that on purpose. Thanks for noticing, and thanks for find the celebrations disturbing.

YES, he was a symbol, yes, yes.

Angela said...

Oh man, Reya,
I know that you and I seem to be having the same thoughts at the same time - but this is really something. I wrote my last post on the Royal Wedding which I watched on TV and most enjoyed because of its peaceful cheering crowds on the streets (comparing to other crowds...) - and just a moment ago, before reading yours, I wrote a letter to late Mr. Bin Laden...

ellen abbott said...

when my grandkids are being mean to their siblings because 'they did it first', I tell them to be the better person, that being mean to someone because they were mean to you only makes the world full of mean people. They rarely listen and who can blame them when the adults in this world can't be the better person.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ellen I bet they take it in, what you tell them. They'll remember, later, as they grow up. You keep telling them! Please? Thank you.

Kerry said...

Being on Pacific time, we got the news before going to bed last night. I felt the same dark cloud of emotions that existed after 9/11. It just brings it all back.

For those who suffered losses on that day there must be some relief knowing that Bin Laden's life has ended, but it seems very strange to party. Nobody does this after the execution of even the most notorious inmate on Death Row.

The Bug said...

I wrote on my blog today that I was uncomfortable with all the nationalistic fervor - it feels alien to me.

Jo said...

It's so nice to be in the company of sane people here in blogland.

People are so easily caught up in the frenzy of anything...mob mentality, really.

I find it as frightening or more so than Bin Laden himself.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ditto, ditto and ditto,

Elizabeth said...

Feeling slightly weird about the whole thing.
A friend Tweeted Claud "Does this mean I can now take my shampoo on the airplane?"
We are keeping well away from downtown as you can imagine.
Taking the dog for a walk instead.
And yes, the wedding was charming but Joe Queenan's essay inTime or Newsweek of May 9th is hilarious and right on the button.
Events in our beloved Maroc too sad last week.
much love

debra said...

Many more dittos, here. I continue to be unsettled by this. So I will continue to breathe, to send love and light into the Universe, and to wish for wisdom. ☯

Butternut Squash said...

My reaction was very similar to yours. Not cheering. Surprise as in the noting of a profound moment. Also, a kind of sorrow, not because he is gone, but because his evil lives after him and is not interred with his bones. But I would no more feel joy in killing a dog with rabies than I do about killing an ignorant, insane and deadly man.

steven said...

reya and all those who have written here, thanks for your good kind thoughtful words. it's a real blessing to find that people crave goodness and rightness no matter the circumstances. steven

Lynne said...

It's unsettling to be sure. I am not quite sure how to feel. I am only afraid of the future repercussions to come, which surely they will.

What a world we now live in. But life must go on! I'm about to go on vacation: so there!

Reya Mellicker said...

Butternut, thank you for your thoughts, and Steven thank YOU.

Lynne have a GREAT time.

Elizabeth I can't imagine what it feels like in NYC. Stay indoors please. Love to you.

Dan Gurney said...

Thanks for saying so, Reya. Seems like most of the folks here agree.

I overheard a snippet of a news radio show. The speaker was talking about a leader who was willing to arm young men and put them in harm's way. I thought he was talking about Bush or Obama. Turns out that he was talking about Osama. All those guys have more in common than they think.

The other side wants young men to put away their weapons and talk to each other, make friends.

Abe Lincoln said, (paraphrasing here) "The surest way to defeat my enemy is to make him my friend." That sounds about right to me.

Carolina Linthead said...

As The Pollinatrix brilliantly stated, "Crazy." Thanks, Reya, for helping us make sense of what we are feeling at this time. I am so very glad to visit here with you and these good folks, and to be reminded that there are better angels of human nature.

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm with you, Dan. Oh yeah.

California Girl said...

I saw a great quote yesterday about who forgives the sinner?" but I can't remember who said it or I'd pass it on.