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It was out there, lurking and stalking, spreading and devouring, patiently waiting and vehemently rushing, killing and murdering, practicing and honing its skills, corrupting and confusing; but, it was also constantly waging war inside me: Ahimsa-Yudhm.
I spent hours upon hours trying to conquer it. I had no choice; it was my life’s purpose. As a child, it had gotten the best of me, losing control, unfocused, raging during sparing.
I almost killed my father, brother, anyone who made me enraged.
So, the solution, as passed down orally from generation to generation, my father, the last master, ordered his best fighters to hold me down, I closed my eyes, not struggling, accepting with honor the fate of those whom could not tame Ahimsa-Yudhm – I, the first born son, was sentenced to death.
Until they came.
Despite tongue lashings and slaps across her face from my father, my mother, patient and loving, who soothed me with her songs while I laid in bed, trying to help me avoid death eventually sacrificed her life when my father was in the midst of executing me during the final raid, her head rolled across the floor from what I knew to be a metal, sharp weapon, the only of its kind in the known world called a sword, created in the beginning, which was made solely to destroy all within the tribe whom were controlled by Ahimsa-Yudhm.
They came with fire, they came with horns, they came with trained warriors set on balancing the power toward destruction. My father, my brothers and sisters, my clan and my friends all died.
After departing from the mountain refuge, now, in a city, a city called Philadelphia, meditating, training, day and night, alone, waiting for a chance to balance the power again, hoping Ahimsa-Yudhm would not overpower me.
I was the last hope for a world without war.
There was more peace now than ever; some wanted to change that.
I had to kill them. Or train someone who would.
But, the world outside High Point Rock had no real warriors. They knew nothing of combat. Most never knew the stench of blood; never scrubbing by hand burgundy stained garments that never disappeared.
I missed the soft grass and dirt that cushioned my steps. My toes began to almost stick together from walking in shoes. And the cement pavements, I pitied everyone who knew only hard, and never experienced softness. City life, akin to a life without pillows and beds, breathe smog listen to foolish, loud arguments and loud horns.
At home I listened for nature, her music, her rhythms: the insects the birds the sound of leaves blowing. Now I listened, but heard loud music that vibrated windows. I couldn’t understand what they said on rap songs.
Something hit me; it sort of flies in the air when thrown. I recall some kids called it a Frisbee. I picked up the yellow saucer from the ground. “Gimme that.” A man with a thick, long, black beard snatched the Frisbee out of my hand and slapped the brown grocery bag in my arm to the ground. The pickle jar shattered and some of the contents spilled of the bag spilled out.
“Ya bad cuzzo,” the man said.
I breathed deeper and deeper, expanding my belly a few times.
“I guess you can go play fetch with your dogs now.”
He threw the Frisbee to his friends across the street. “You got jokes.” The man struck me in my face, but I rolled with the frail punch. “I should give you a black eye,” he said. “Oh yeah,” someone yelled across the street.
Soon his friends ran across the street. “Don’t beat up on the man fellas,” a woman said a few houses down behind us.
I wish they listened, for everyone’s sake.
The frozen peas I planned to cook for dinner would have to wait; the cold icy bag stopped my eye black eye from more swelling. “Damn Mr. you aint do nothin. You a cold bitch,” a small kid dribbling what I believe people called a ball. “That was a flagrant foul. You remind me of Kobe Bryant getting ya ass kicked.” He dribbled behind his back and between his legs and into the street.
I walked in the house dropped the grocery bag at the door and walked upstairs into the bathroom and turned on the shower.
The cold water made me retreat until I breathed. I smiled. Goosebumps appeared. These sounds that kept me and my neighbors awake startled me, almost slipping in the shower when I heard what was called a firecracker.
The only thing that reminded me of home was my father’s mediation cushion. I’d seen him sit on it when I left for sparing and when I returned bruised and beaten he’d still be sitting there breathing in and out. Mad, furious, angry, or raging – those words described me, never my father. The man was emotionless never up never down, just relaxed and even keeled. But, I’d never want to be that way forever. Women smiled and hugged. The master, stern and stoic, had no time for gentleness.
More firecrackers broke my concentration. I opened my eyes from the darkness and saw the white plain piece of paper I taped to the wall I used for developing concentration. To no avail. Like a nomad that constantly wanders from place to place, my mind moved, rushed in a hurry sometimes at the slightest sign of aggravation. The downstairs window shattered. Now What?
“Hey sir. Mr. You there? I need that rock.” Rock? There was just a round, worn ball in the living room and shattered glass on the floor at the bottom of the window. A head bounced up into view from the window. “My bad sir.” My faced flushed running down to my chest. Just breathe. The ball felt engraved with small circles that allowed me to grip it with one hand, tossing it up in the air.
I opened the door. The kid from earlier rushed over from the window. “I was trying some Pistol Pete tricks and things got out of hand.” He placed his hands out. “Pass it.” I tossed him his ball. “That bullshit ass pass would get stolen by Al or any quick guard.” I smiled. “I’m not from here. What is this game you’re so enthralled by?”
He raised his eyebrows. “You lived under a rock somewhere? Mike Jordan. Larry Bird. LeBron James. Bron Bron. King James,” he rattled off names shaking his head. “No. please play safer. Goodnight.”
The forest smell inhaled in my widened nostril while sitting on a mediation cushion seemed novel here where honking car horns, loud skirmishes between people and kids playing often interrupted a few minutes of solace. Busy busy busy everyone here was busy doing this doing that. Maybe death was too harsh, exile here would suffice.
“I swear to God, don’t lay a finger on this honey. You fucked up. No more playing with all this,” a woman hollered. More chaos. More distractions. “Get off me! Somebody help!”
A man wrestled a woman onto the ground. “Shut up hoe.” I ran toward them. “You’re hurting my arm.” The man swung at my arm when I tried to touch him. “Stay out of this.” A grimace on her face accompanied my moans and tears made my heart beat faster. “Sir please,” I said as I went to touch him again.
“Stay, the fuck, outta this,” he warned. Slowly, cautiously, I moved toward him reaching my hand slowly. He turned her wrist tighter; she screamed. Then he threw her hand down and charged me. He fell on top of me, but I rolled over and landed atop him. He swung. He missed. Again again again and again and again. “Calm down please.” He looked calmer. “Are you okay?” He nodded his head. “I’m cool.”
I dusted myself off and looked toward the woman. He swung again. And missed again. “You see that’s the shady shit im talkin bout James,” she said. With balled fists in the air, walking toward me, he rushed me only to the car side mirros behind us when I spun out the way. He touched and rubbed his lower back. “I don’t want to fight.”
“Just kick that nigga ass please, he like hittin on women.” Unsettled, he cocked his right arm back and ran toward me. When he lunged forward, ready to swing, I leaned to the side and tripped him. “Please refrain.” He turned around; blood appeared from the scrapped skin on his hands.
“Yo somebody fightin kev. Let’s gettem.”
Although the aggressors were less than novices , the black eye on the right side of my face had a fraternal twin. More grounded, less reaction offered more equanimity; my placid mood during the fight lead to passivity which equated to controlling Ahimsa-Da’Ryuku.
In the beginning, at a time when people only balled their fist as a primal urge rather than being instructed, between two men, one wise and one foolish, there was a disagreement that created the war.
As the story goes, they fought and fought. ____ , the original leader of the tribe, the father of all my fathers, said ____ could not defeat him and that he should stop pursuing victory. ___ pressed on. ____ warned he would kill him if he continued. Nobody listening knew what that word kill meant. But, ____ seemed to know. He retreated that day.
Over the months of bickering and fighting, _____ never laid a single hand on the father of fathers. ____ would constantly throw ___ to the ground, making him look foolish, ___ him to mocks and ridicule of the everyone whom watched. ____ taught everyone what he innately knew.
Eventually, he killed ____. Then the tribe knew what murder was.
Ever since then, my tribe would war with those who had once been our own tribesmen.
Rumors spread, so people gossiped about how weak ____ was. If he had killed _____ then we would have never stopped celebrating the annual Blueberry Festival where we eat blueberries, make medicine with blueberries, bake blueberries, wash in blueberries with blueberries, fry blueberries, give blueberry alms, burn blueberries, paint faces with blueberries and throw blueberriesPurple stains everything, we burn the garments at night and everyone drinks blueberry drinks until the everyone passes out.
People said he had no balance; he was all peace: all Ahisma.
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