The French monarchy was a shining beacon of tranny. King Louis XIV was called “the Sun King,” and built the greatest monument to aristocracy ever; the Palace of Versailles. Many were born and died under the feet of the ruling class who feasted on the blood and spirit of the peasantry. Life, under their rule, was suffering.
Eventually the tyranny was too much and the King who wielded it too weak to cling to its blade. It was torn from King Louis XVI who was far too inept to defend his kingdom from his own, enlightened, people.
But in doing so, oppressed turned tyrant. Centuries of pain was unleashed on the aristocracy and when they had no more blood to bleed, it was unleashed each other. The guillotine lopped off heads as if preparing a chicken dinner for a celebration of the new republic.
King Louis was not spared, of course. His blood was demanded to seal, once and for all, the tomb of the French monarchy. But his was not enough.
The Queen may have been even more reviled than her husband. Pretty, wealthy, elite, aloof she was hated deeply by virtually all of the citizens of the new Republic and therefor they thirsted for her blood above all other’s.
She was broken and destroyed emotionally and mentally. Her husband, the king, was killed. Her children were taken from her. Her young boy tortured. She was dead inside; a shell of a woman. Put on trial, she was found guilty and sentenced to death. The anger of the nation was heaped on her. And in the final moment, something moving happened.
Legend has it that as Marie Antoinette was making her way up the steps of the guillotine she stepped on the foot of the executioner and muttered a single word, “pardon.” it was the last word she ever spoke. “I’m sorry.”
While she likely simply meant she was sorry for stepping on his foot, her manners still deeply imbedded in her heart, in that moment the words carried far more weight.
Was she sorry for looking down on those she felt were not her equal (everyone)? Was she sorry for not caring for her fellow human? Was she sorry for her elitism and gluttony and hedonism?
I like to think, in that moment, she was sorry for the life she lived. I like to think, in that moment, she repented to humankind for being such an awful, tyrannical, monster.
If that is true, if she truly was sorry in that moment, I for one, forgive her.
I know I haven’t been posting much. Honestly I’ve been crazy busy with work. I’m a teacher and obviously we are back in school but besides that I also have 6 children with their various sports or activities and I also started announcing some of the sporting events. There are many days I leave the house at 6:30 and don’t return until 7:30 or 8:00. I know there are many other people working as hard or harder so I’m not complaining, just explaining.
I actually wanted to share something that happened in my class because I found it inspiring and touching. I teach 10th grade world history, among other things, and as part of the curriculum I taught a lesson about independence movements across Latin America. To front load the lesson I taught about how there were three distinct group of people with very different wants and needs all across the Americas, mainly: Natives, Colonists and West African slaves. We had a discussion about how there were many communities of people who had distinct languages, cultures and religions and they maintain much of that today.
Part of the lesson was about the grito de Dolores, which was in part, a call for independence for Mexico. Some of my students knew exactly what that was and were excited to share more about what they know and how they mark the anniversary of the event. They also shared their unique cultural experiences and how it differs from the dominant culture at times. Some of them were engaged in the lesson like never before.
The point is this: we all want to be validated. Whether it’s our race, religion, culture sexuality or anything else that makes us who we are, we want to be validated. There is much value in celebrating the achievements of ones people. There is value in learning about and embracing positive aspects of ones ancestors. For some reason, it makes us feel much more connected when others know us and accept us.
It’s part of the reason I love history so much. The study of the past helps us appreciate the present. It’s why I love story telling. We all want to identify with a hero and those stories inspire us.
I hope to get back to producing more writing very soon. Perhaps even something that explores the idea of validating ones identity. I have so many stories to tell still. I must find time for them.
To not have to worry about money or wealth,
To never have problems with sickness or health,
If food was free, and there was plenty for me,
If the world was at peace, and there was oil in the East,
It would be nice.
But everything is literally uncontrollable.
It is a nice dream, and an immense goal.
It’s not something that will change overnight.
Hopefully someday we can live in an utopia,
But until then we must survive,
And keep our hopes alive.
So to walk down the long and winding road,
All you need is love.
Everything else is lace on the tapestry of life.
From The Sureshot Rises book 1 of my Sureshot trilogy all available on Amazon!
The horn sounded and the flurry of steel continued. Again, Rothan was content to defend. Warren still attacked with fury, hoping to slip by his brother’s guard again. Rothan brilliantly fought off Warren, always keeping his distance and shifting his weight around to dodge the attacks. He was slowly moving further away from Warren and caused him to stretch even more to try to land a shot. Soon Warren was stretching too far, and Rothan slipped to one side as his brother lunged forward and slapped his brother on the back with his sword. The people cheered loudly again as the match was proving to be worth the wait.
Hey there busy
Been a minute
It was summer break
But now it’s finished
And so your back
And here to stay
So little time
Like every day
There’s so much work
And new troubles
Stress and worries
And stacking bills
Busy, I would rather
You let me be
But I know you well
You can’t kill me
When a thick dark dank fog
Encircles the valley like a bog
And chokes the radiant sun
Ears straining to hear the gun.
As fears grip the lungs and squeeze
Chaos overcomes the mind with ease
Crippling legs like a black cancer
You’re at a loss for the healing answer.
Your enemies stand right beside you
With hopeful eyes. Each time is a new
Battle that must be bravely won,
Alas one thing is left to be done.
Look not for an ally to help the fight
For it is you who holds all the might
You cannot put forth your best
Until your mind is at rest.
So breathe easy and steady my friend
For soon, very soon, it will end
When the legs suddenly take ill
Your heart can win with sheer will.
All books available by Phillip Brunnengraeber
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