Beyond pride



“The only crime is pride.” ~Sophocles

The writer watched another episode of that epic series of course. She cried a little. She covered her eyes when there was blood. And when the poet glanced over her shoulder, she stopped for a moment to look at someone who reminded her of someone else…and then, she vanished. She’s very secretive that one, and she wanders.

I was quite busy all evening, with this and that, wishing for some time to write. And when the time came, I did not know what to write about. Surely not another post about the necessity of love. I am tired, hardly in the mood. But the night is incomplete and restless without some words. I sensed there was something relevant that needed to be said. I just couldn’t reach it.

As usual, guidance appeared when asked for. And so the word came…pride.

How could I forget about this twin to fear? They are two ghosts strolling about in the world, trying to steal souls, to numb hearts, to fill the minds with nightmares…whispering with whispers that are like whips and would turn everything to stone.

Perhaps it is not fear that is the worst of the two, but pride. Perhaps it is the pride of the wounded who, after having earned new strength, has also built a fortress out of that expensive victory, and bolted the gates ten times over.

Perhaps it is the pride of us all, who, after rising from whatever journey led us to a pause, to necessary rest and silence, has also built a fortress out of that expensive recovery, and bolted the gates ten times over.

Is pride a crime then? Or is it simply the last veil left to remove. It seems all important things, all true things, are always veiled. So complicated…so simple.

It is said that we always know what we need to know, but for many reasons, we all have a tendency to a greater or lesser degree, to postpone the knowing. I suspect it is because the important things, the best things, frighten us. Once seen they can not be unseen. Once opened, the soul can not close.

And yes, the path to, let’s face it, happiness and freedom we all wish for, not only doesn’t allow for shortcuts, but most of the time is rather steep, paved with unkind obstacles and riddles…with perilous turns. And mirrors. Many, many mirrors.

Eventually, fear yields. Yes it is dark and heavy, but it yields. But pride, although it can not kill awakening, it can keep it hidden…unseen, unsung, wasted. And that may be the greatest crime…the only crime indeed.

And yet, I suspect this menace of the twin to fear can be easily removed. There is no more questioning, no struggle, no facing of hidden things. The slightest, most delicate and genuine gesture should pierce through it like an arrowhead made of good steel breaks through plate armor. The writer swears it is so, and she knows it because she watches epic series of course.

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