Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Satyagraha: The Opera by Philip Glass

In 1989, Philip Glass presented to the world his opera, Satyagraha, chronicling the first important events in the life of Gandhi that later shaped his legendary life. Last night I saw the opera's debut in the Met in NYC, and was transfixed by the music, the scenery, the acting, and the message of the opera. Satyagraha, meaning "truth force," is caught in the opening moments of the opera when young Gandhi, with a 1st class ticket for a train ride, is thrown out of 1st class--and off the train--because he refused to sit with the rest of the Indians in apartheid South Africa.

The power of truth in the world--part of that living and speaking truth to power--is undeniable. It will be resisted each and every time in places in the world in which truth is not in the hands or minds or heart of those in power. Truth and non-violence threatens the powers that live in lies and deceptions and use violence to wield power in this world.

"The truth/Truth will set you free," is as true today as it was when first utter. Truth force was readily apparent in the work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Jesus, who is the personification of Truth walking among us, along with being the embodiment of Love, Grace, Joy, Hope--to name a few--gives us assistance in this walk of living truthfully as moms and dads who are LGBTQ.

We who are LGBTQ, and especially (given this blog) we who are LGBTQ parents, will meet resistance in a largely straight-parent world. We will meet hostility, whether it is subtle or hopefully overt (it is a lot easier to see and hear and thus know than the more subtler form). We will meet people who seem to lack joy or love in their lives, whether they are gay or straight. Gay people hidden in marriage don't want to live or be with people who are out and open with their lives. Living truthfully and openly as LGBTQ parents give our children and extended family members permission to live truthfully and openly as well. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," (DADT) is a disease to the body of communities of faith. Being faithful means that it is simply impossible for us to live when we are centered upon living truthful, truth-bearing lives.

Yes, it is easier to write and say this now than it was when I was in my closet, built with my own hands and materials given to me by society.

Let the truth/Truth set us free...and live non-violent lives.



1 comment:

Fran said...

Very well put.
I am straight, but totally admire your courage & cause.
Thanks for mentioning my favorite composer, whom, I believe, probably feels the same way.