Gabriel shuffled around the trunk again, searching for faux arrows-arrows designed to injure but not kill. 'All these arrows are sharp-and have blood on them.' 'Yes, well, I left my cotton candy arrows at home next to my teddy bear.' Gabriel turned to Tristan. 'We're not going to kill that guy.' 'We might.' 'Tristan, that's homicide.' 'It's self defense.' 'It's not self defense. He didn't come after you.' 'But he came after Scarlet. And, technically, Scarlet is a piece of me. So, yeah. It's self-defense. Are you coming with me or not?' 'I don't want to kill him. I just want to hurt him. Or detain him.' 'Or maybe you could just give him a big hug.'Tristan started marching into the woods. 'You can stay there and clean weapons or whatever, but I'm going after our intruder.
You got rid of them. Yes, that's just like you. Getting rid of everything unpleasant instead of learning to put up with it. Whether 'tis better in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them... But you don't do either. Neither suffer nor oppose. You just abolish the slings and arrows. It's too easy.
Our only hope to speak with kindness, to lead with patience, and to not threaten our children with homicide is to ensure our spiritual reserves are not bone-dry. Moms are the middle of the flow chart; the arrows of exertion flow constantly out from us, but when no arrows of strength, grace, and peace are flowing in, the whole mechanism is in danger. Goodness in equals goodness out.
We fret about words, we writers. Words mean. Words point. They are arrows. Arrows stuck in the rough hide of reality. And the more portentous, more general the word, the more they can also resemble rooms or tunnels. They can expand, or cave in. They can come to be filled with a bad smell. They will often remind us of other rooms, where we'd rather dwell or where we think we are already living. They can be spaces we lose the art or the wisdom of inhabiting. And eventually those volumes of mental intention we no longer know how to inhabit will be abandoned, boarded up, closed down.
The very first thing the President [Truman] did was to show me the new Presidential Seal, which he had just redesigned. He explained, 'The seal has to go everywhere the President goes. It must be displayed upon the lectern when he speaks. The eagle used to face the arrows but I have re-designed it so that it now faces the olive branches ... what do you think?' I said, 'Mr. President, with the greatest respect, I would prefer the American eagle's neck to be on a swivel so that it could face the olive branches or the arrows, as the occasion might demand.'
Your children are not your children. They are sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself. They come through you but not from you. And though they are with you yet they belong not to you. You may give them your love but not your thoughts, For they have their own thoughts. You may house their bodies but not their souls, For thir souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams. You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday. You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The archer sees the make upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far. Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness. For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He also loves the bow that is stable.