Carol A. Hand
Who is Agnes Angeline Sero? This woman who walked between cultures, the descendant of warring nations? This lonely, insecure, yet creative and fiercely inquisitive woman who set off alone to explore the question of hegemony? What gave her the strength to persevere?
The challenges she faced were many – not the typical villains and dragons in heroic tales. The obstacles were taken-for-granted beliefs, bureaucratic structures, and unquestioned social conventions.
She survived childhood abuse. Although the wounding was deep and isolating, it left many unanticipated gifts. Among them was her ability to focus so intensely that physical and emotional pain disappeared as she shifted her mind to observe and contemplate questions of life, oppression, and possibilities. Burning curiosity gave her a reason to live. Curiosity graced her with an open gentleness that invited others to share their stories and their pain with her. They intuitively knew she would listen, understand, and care.
But sometimes, she absorbed too much pain. Sadly, there was no one who could understand the intensity of her suffering or the power of the love that made her a fierce and tenacious adversary of injustices. The only way for her to survive was to sometimes retreat into the world of books and fantasy.
While writing Agnes’ story and sharing some of the stories she gathered during her journey, I wonder if I am retreating from the world like Agnes. Will any of this make a difference? I honestly don’t know. Like Agnes, it’s hard for me to retreat before the present challenge is resolved one way or the other. A momentary feeling of success or the discovery of yet another path that leads to more learning?
Maybe it will be both…
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