A five year old asked me once:

"If you could pick one superpower, what would you choose?"

His head was filled with the sounds of glorious proclamations

and imaginary battles where the bad guys are killed,

and everybody wins.

I smiled at him, and told him I would be a water bender

Because Kitara kicks butt.

He ran away gleefully to tell children

he thinks are his friends about it,

and I was left alone to ponder over the bodies of bad guys.


And I realized I had just lied to a five year old.


If I could choose a superpower,

If I could choose

If I could choose

I would00 choose the power to forgive anybody

Kinda a let-down for a five year old, huh?

But life,

Life is full of let downs.

I was let down when I saw my superman lift weights-

Yet not able to uplift hearts-

because his own was broken by a skeleton in the ground.

I've been let down by women with x-ray vision seeing into my perversion,

finally turn away weeping for the sins of humanity.

I know I could be the fastest man in eternity,

and still not outpace my guilt or mortality.


Still I see that the world is saved for another day!

Except we still have gangs

Except we still have war

And I realize the only power we all learn to master is how to turn invisible

So nobody can see our faults.

And when we do so, when we turn invisible,

We can't be forgiven:

Nobody can see my faults, because nobody can see me.

So to survive we have to be invisible and to forgive we have to be vulnerable and unable to do either I slip to the ether-



I changed my mind.

I pick water bending.

So when this five year old comes back to me,

nursing a black eye and weeping,

wishing he was strong enough to fight back,

I try to tell him about...


and about forgiving your enemies.


But he's just beginning to experience the expedience of evil

He hasn't yet tried with every muscle in his body

to turn to his bullies and lay out the fact that he was hurt.

And his abusers have never learned how to let go of their need for control,

and whisper "I'm sorry".

So that we can contort our mouths and squeeze out those simple words,

... "I forgive you".

If that happened, maybe we could all be saved;

But it doesn't

So all I can offer my five year old is a hug

An ice pack

and silence.


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