Consider the quote below from the 2008 movie, Doubt:
“A woman was gossiping with a friend about a man she hardly knew – I know none of you have ever done this – that night she had a dream. A great hand appeared over her and pointed down at her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt. The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O’Rourke, and she told him the whole thing.
‘Is gossiping a sin?’ she asked the old man. ‘Was that the hand of God Almighty pointing a finger at me? Should I be asking your absolution? Father, tell me, have I done something wrong?’
‘Yes!’ Father O’Rourke answered her. ‘Yes, you ignorant, badly brought up female! You have borne false witness against your neighbor, you have played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed!’
So the woman said she was sorry and asked for forgiveness.
‘Not so fast!’ says O’Rourke. ‘I want you to go home, take a pillow up on your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me!’
So the woman went home, took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to the roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed.
‘Did you gut the pillow with the knife?’ he says.
‘And what was the result?’
‘Feathers,’ she said.
‘Feathers?’ he repeated.
‘Feathers everywhere, Father!’
‘Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out on the wind!’
‘Well,’ she said, ‘it can’t be done. I don’t know where they went. The wind took them all over.’
‘And that,’ said Father O’Rourke, ‘is GOSSIP!’”
Powerful quote, isn’t it?
My best friend, Ty (I talk about him a lot in my blogs) posted this a very short while ago and I thought it was incredibly important that I doubled back on this post.
I’ve been posting a lot about my concerns for the poetry community and for my personal emotional well-being and I have another (I know) set of thoughts that I’d like to share.
There are some folks that are simply vipers and can’t be less than the snakes that they are. In turn, gossiping and polluting the planet with bullshit is all they know and all they want to know.
There are also those (I know this, because it is my story) that have been so emotionally abused that they put on a tough exterior that not only repels bad things, but good things too. In turn, they indulged in gossip and leaned closely to those things that could inflict some semblance of the hurt that they were feeling. I’m telling you what I know, again, this WAS my former story.
These kinds of folks need people who care enough to peel past the layers and pull those pearls out. I was fortunate that there was room for pearls and people in my life to help heal a person that was literally spiraling out of control.
My prayer, is that I be given insight to the vipers and the pearls. Moreover, I pray that when I reach forward to peel back layers, that I’m met with gems and not teeth marks.
In the words of my brotha, O: Be Healthy…I mean for real yawl.