As is my wont when I'm in a new place, I decided to go to Meeting in Edinburgh. The building is right near the Royal Mile/Castle Mound, and during Festival time it's pretty noisy there. But in Meeting itself, there's the usual calm and quiet.
I was sitting there, centering and trying to hear whatever I was supposed to hear, but my mind kept wandering back to MPOW. Just before I left for vacation, one of our art teachers told me that he thought my attitude of "hey, this is a great opportunity" was brave. I don't quite see it that way, it's more a question of getting on with things because, really, what else could I do?
So the first message was about Amnesty International's booth at the Book Festival, and how the people wandering the Fringe in packs, shoving flyers in our hands to advertise them or their friends, seem to gather bravery because they're part of a group. Yet AI's booth was hosting writers who spoke of true bravery: those that stood apart from the pack, voicing a dangerous opinion or suggesting a dangerous course of action.
There were two other messages in this vein, and finally a woman spoke about a Ukranian psychiatrist she'd known who was imprisoned for refusing to declare someone mentally damaged. Just before his jail term started, he wrote "Free at last, free at last - thank God almighty, I'm free at last". She wondered how horrible things had been that he felt freer going to jail, and how brave he'd been to finally stand up to Them.
It seemed to me that Someone was trying to tell me something - that I was right in suspecting that I wasn't being brave but practical. And it made me think about how brave I've been in the past... and how truly brave I could be in the future.