Saturday, 2 February 2013

Love and only love

He was ahead of me in the short queue in the Credit Union, his face it's normal sullen mask. 

I have known him to see for years, a big, chunky surly  man with a reputation for ferocious violence and a small time prison record.  He has letters in blue ink tattoos on his fingers that I've never wanted to read. Several years ago he and his brothers gave a terrible beating to the brother of a friend. I've never known him to work & now, that he is well over 30 years of age he is hardly employable. 


The surprise was he was pushing a buggy. Fatherhood usually happens earlier to such men and he never seemed like a man who would take to the idea with any degree of delight. There was a startling and unfair instant of of envy that he should have such a gift so easily. 

His business done, as he was passed the waiting queue a tiny hand pitched a soft toy out on the floor. The sullen, frozen face transformed as he crouched, replacing the toy gently, speaking those beautiful inanities of love we talk to infants. Love made him glow as if he crouched in sunlight, he was at that moment illuminated. His face became beautiful in it's transfixation, radiating affection for the tiny child. He touched the childs face tenderly with a tattoed finger. He rose with a grace foreign to him, pushed the buggy out of the office, his face made astonishing by love. I stood, amazed & had to be prompted to move to the counter. 


There are moments of epiphany to great to express in language or when so expressed seem small, trite, clumsy & pointless . I just know I had been granted a glimpse of the transformative power of love, had seen a mani illuminated by its power so that I saw him fo the first time though I knew his image for a long time. Love it is that makes us human, and in being fully human, closest to the divine, however you choose to define that divinity. We may only really see anothers humanity when we see them love. 

The traditional and horror of violence done to another before those they love, of death inflicted in front of family may be based on an instinctive knowledge of that fact: however evil the deed the perpetrators make them selves less than human in the act of killing love.

For me I see that man differently, less sullen thug and much more human touched by the infinite. A small epiphany but one none the less.


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