We are not here to carry the pain, the grief, the blood-guilt of our ancestors. We are here to free them. Our life is not an act of penance, but an act of bold forgiveness.
At the root of our literature and our politics is the Oresteia trilogy of Aeschylus. The Furies drive Orestes mad with their infernal history of unreleased trauma, through the relentless cycle of retaliation. But the new Goddess of civilization, Athena, descends to cast the deciding vote in the Assembly of Athens, the original rite of democracy. Our freedom is a choice, and it frees others as well as ourselves. Orestes awakens from the dark stupor of the past.

I am Orestes. I am the punishing Furies. I am Athena. I descend into the Assembly of my own heart, where all are gathered. I cast my vote for absolution, and pure joy.

No comments: