Most of us would drive by the neighborhood of Mapelteon Fall Creek and never imagine that anyone noteworthy or famous would live there. Amongst all of the vaccant lots, deterating houses, overgrown grass, and not to mention thousands of preconvieved notions that swarm are minds, we do not leave much of a chance for much of anything to come out of the neighborhood.
Mari Evans, a world renown famous writer, poet, play write, and political activist lives in the heart of the neighborhood that has nothing to offer. (Check out her credentials: http://aalbc.com/authors/mari.htm) As I walked through the neighborhood attempting to make conversations with people that were wondering what this yuppie white kid was doing, she invited me into her home. She is 85 years of wisdom, experience, and intelligent, and I tried ltirellesy to soak up every word that she said.
What I took:
I asked her about peace and conflict in the neighborhood and where people go to resolve their conflicts. She said that people in this neighborhood are just trying to survive. This was not the answer I was looking for, I was hoping she would tell me about some person a block over that is known to be the peacemaker that people go to to resolve conflict. What she said, survival, complicates the matter that I was hoping would be black and white.
In the relationship between peace and conflict where does survival find its place?
The reality that she shared with me altered and complicated my perception of peace/conflict.
She also played us a wonderful song on the piano, and when she finished looked at me and asked what instrument I played? (as if playing an instrument was as essential as breathing).
I responded by saying that I didn't play anything.
Whyyyy, she pleaded.
Due to this encounter I think I will look into picking up the harmonica.