I know many of you are looking for answers, especially from your lawyer, in the wake of the passage of the NDAA and the (alleged) repeal of The Mandate.
What does it mean, D?
I could give you a Pharisee’s answer, filled with jot and tittle of “the law,” but I thought for a moment we might let that settle and I might share with you some inspiration I got from a… slightly Higher Authority. I hope you will forgive the familiar tone of this message, but we all share common station, though of Noble Purpose. You now Stand the Watch – West Pointers call it the Long, Gray Line, and George Martin had his Jon Snow and the Men on the Wall, the Men of the Night’s Watch.
It’s all the same. I don’t need to lecture you about it. You’re there and I’m retired; nonetheless, we share the Soldier’s Remit. Let me explain what I mean by that.
Some days… ack-chu-ally, it’s usually nights – nights are where the burdens seem heaviest, the darkness deepest, and my fears of inadequacy greatest… but one recent night in particular I was feeling the weight of your collective suffering – your families’ prayers, your own hopes and entreaties for relief, for surcease of sorrow, for that ephemeral, yet eternal clarion, Justice, mixed with my own prideful need for victory, glory… when a hand upon my soul reminded me that I asked for this… just like you all, individually and collectively, did.
Yes, my friends and fellow travelers, you, me, Rachel, Maddy, Pete, Brandon, Andy, the whole lot of us – and many others, more than you think or know – we volunteered for this fight. And for this last year, or two, or twenty, it doesn’t really matter when you got in the Boat, ‘cuz here you are now in the same seas as the rest of us. And I mean this in a very literal, physical AND metaphysical, sense. (The two are never separate). You all could just as easily have bowed your heads and rolled up your sleeves…
…But you didn’t – knowing full well that the lash could, and almost certainly would, be at the end of that decision.
Now, we’ve finally gotten a measure of respite from the storm, a pause from the lashing, and people are rightfully picking there heads up and wondering, “Is there land yet in sight?” And, perhaps more pointedly for me, “Does the cap’n even know where he’s going? Does this guy have a compass?”
Of course, we will do all that temporal matters, and masters, demand, all that our Pharasaical natures can concoct, to bring you some small measure of Earthy justice, but… the Truth I feel compelled to offer you – the Soldier’s Remit – is something far more important. It is not enough to bear the lash begrudgingly, with a desire for the chance to have the whip in your own hand to return the favor. Aye, that’s where the dark part of our heart goes, even draws strength, but…
“…Forgive us Our Trespasses, as We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us…”
Not from a place of superiority, my friends, not like those who prostrate and lash themselves publicly, who bemoan their Fate, and parade their victimhood. When you are broken on the rocks, and have crawled with your penultimate breath to lie at the feet of your oppressors, the real Majesty, The Heart of the Mystery, is to realize that you asked for this – and to accept the burden willingly, knowingly, and with a smile – because it is a Blessed Gift to each of you. It is the Key to something Eternal and it cannot be gotten by any Earthly Recompense.
“Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do.”
That’s the Message I needed to share with you this season. Peace and Blessings to you all, and the ones you love, however you celebrate your Divine Spark.
P.S. There’s a Zoom chat on Monday to discuss more temporal matters, particularly what the NDAA means; while originally intended for Coasties, everyone “in the boat” is welcome. It has as much applicability to Wilson plaintiffs as it does to Bazzrea. I’ll have Rachel make sure we have enough Zoom seats to handle everyone and we’ll send out an invite. Share with your shipmates in litigation and I’ll phari-see you there. 😉