A Little Bit of Heaven in the Middle of Hell

She came into a storm.  People were ready for her.  They had their weapons on hand, prepared to use them the second things went south.  It was not an easy thing to walk into, but she had a mission.  She had a job to do, and by God she was going to do it regardless of what was thrown her way.  It would not be easy.  It would not be fun.  A samurai.  A stranger in a strange land.  She carried no shield.  She carried no weapons except what was in her head.

And she conquered.

Watching it wasn't easy.  The sword thrusts were quick and to the point, but she came prepared.  She knew how to dodge, how to feint, and how to sometimes let the flesh take the blow.  She knew it wouldn't kill her, but she also knew she would suffer.  Suffering, as they say, is easy.  Few do it well, though.

Sitting alone at night, pondering, she knew she had to face the fury again ... day after day.  It was not something just anyone could do.  Not even close.  If you think about it, being a samurai was never about doing the easy thing.  It was all about embracing the fact that you would die in battle and then doing battle the best way possible.  If you were good enough, skilled enough, you survived.  If you died, you died honorably, or so help your family's honor.

She did her family well.

Watching this play out, people had ideas.  They always do.  They work their magic to try and lessen something, make it more human.  Especially when confronted with what they don't understand.  They do their best to drag their savior down to their level, to humanize them, to humble them.  They never realize that the samurai, in order to get where she has been, has already been humbled, has already been humanized, has already been at that level.  That's the only way she cold transcend.  It wasn't easy.  It wasn't quick.  It was not without casualties.  There were many sleepless nights, many dark times where the blade was her only friend.  That is common.  That is the life of the warrior.

If you've never been there, you would never understand.  Men, by nature of their confidence, can pull this off.  They do it all the time.  They do it without the skills to back it up.  They do it because it is what they are taught.  They muddle through while appearing to be victors.

Females don't have it so easy, so when they can do it, you know there are the skills there to back it up.  You know that the blades they carry (which are always hidden -- if they even come armed), can cut you to shreds before you even realize it.

Strong, smart women with confidence and skills do more damage than a nuclear bomb, and can accomplish more than a well-armed militia.  They can destroy mountains with a look.  They can motivate nations.  They can inspire people to greatness ... and they can do it without the heavy-handed methods that are employed by men of lesser distinction.

Realizing that, I know I am one of the lucky ones.  I survived intact.  I get to breathe another day.  I was witness to a mission accomplished in a way that would dazzle the more intellectual among us and cause the easily distracted to wonder just what the hell happened.  That is rare.  But then again, so is a female samurai ...

(I don't expect any kind of great understanding from anyone on this.  Quite frankly, I am tired beyond belief.  I remain impressed with some people, though, and the more I know, the more impressed I become.  When you lose faith in the human race, sometimes all it takes is some well-placed words and an examination of the world around you to set things right.)

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