Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Signs of Spring and More on an Eye for an Eye
Well, I guess I'm only half way back to the blogosphere, but half way is better than the cave so I'm going to be grateful for what there is. I still haven't been able to come up with anything inspiring (or even dull) for One Single Impression. Where is my muse and why won't she speak to me?
Thank you to everyone who commented on the eye for an eye post. I don't think that I could take someone's sight even if I thought it was in the interest of the higher good, but I might try to make a deal with the law to let him THINK it was going to happen and then make sure he did a good deal of prison time... or find a way to let him experience the reality of what he had put me through. When my sister was murdered, I was so grateful that there was no death penalty in my state. It would have made everything worse for me if a sixteen year old boy - or any other human of any age - had been murdered in Carole's name. She would have hated it. That said, I have no trouble (except that waste of human life in any form makes me sad) with him spending the rest of his life in jail. He comes up for parole in 4 years. I have often wondered if the values I think I have would kick in were I to learn that he has used his 20 years (so far) in jail for good - gotten an education, found a moral compass, truly repented. I like to think I would have compassion, but I don't know if I would. At the time he killed her - from everything I saw and heard - he really didn't comprehend the meaning of taking a life. His regret had more to do with having been caught than with what he had done. He seemed a lost soul to me: young and handsome, street smart but not terribly bright. My own psychic wounds - a pretty much total disconnect from my feelings - may have helped me survive the loss and all the other losses. Maybe there was deep rage and I just wasn't feeling it. Mostly I felt sad and tired. His father came to the trial with some regularity with his wife. I think they had a young baby. The DA told me the father was a drug dealer. Even so, I felt compelled at the end of the trial after Walter was convicted , to introduce myself and tell him that I was sorry for his loss also. He wanted it to be a mistake. I know it wasn't. I saw all the evidence. I heard a tape of the confession. At one point he had said that "he just felt like killing someone." Listening to his confession, I know he didn't necessarily intend to kill my sister... or he did and didn't. Once the first blow was struck and she screamed, he stabbed her again and again... more out of fear than malice. But she is just as dead. Back then I sensed in this tragic young man nobody to redeem. I wonder if that's true? I tell myself that I want him in jail for life because I saw no hope of redemption, because my sister is dead for the life of her children, me, my parents while they were alive. Murder of one radiates out to so many, to family of course, but also to witnesses who held her hand at the end, whose lives will never be the same, to friends and also strangers whose lives were suddenly shocked by ugly impersonal brutality that but for luck could have been themselves, to grandchildren who will never meet the wonderful woman who was their mother's mother. But sometimes I wonder. Sixteen is so young. If we had a different kind of prison system, I might hold out more hope for some such transformation for this young man, but our prisons are too crowded and too bent on punishment. I suspect Mr. Anderson's already damaged spirit is only more wounded. But one never knows. Anyway, I wonder about myself and my ability to live the values I think I hold. The line between vengeance and punishment is both subtle and huge. Life, the inner workings of our souls are such a wondrous and complex mystery to me.
But I seem to be rambling. I don't know why I'm writing about this today. The sun is out. The temperatures are out of the single digits (it was 5 degrees yesterday, 16 degrees at the moment). There are a lot of birds fluttering around, patches of earth showing beneath the snow here and there and the tree branches are showing those little knobs that portend blossoms and leaves. The changes are subtle, but they are there. This first photo was taken on February 17th, the second one this morning.
Not a lot of change... but some...
Oh... one last thing... today is my friend Dan's birthday. At the advice of a number of the wordzzle gang, he has started his own blog - Among the Clouds with Danny Boy . Maybe you could drop by and wish him a happy birthday. His day hasn't started out so well and he could use a boost.