Satan

Satan is a name we use for darkness in the world, a goat on which we load our most horrific sins, to carry off our guilt.

But all the evil I have seen was done by human beings.

It isn't a dark angel who rigs a car into a bomb, or steals money meant for others' food.

And it wasn't any alien spirit that chained me to this wall.

One of those who kidnapped me said once: "No man believes he's evil."

A penetrating and subtle thought in these circumstances, and from him.

And that's the mystery:

He's not stupid, and doesn't seem insane.

He knows I've done no harm to him or his.

He's looked into my face each day for years, and heard me crying in the night.

Still he daily checks my chain, makes sure my blindfold is secure, then kneels outside my cell and prays to Allah, merciful, compassionate.

I know too well the darker urges in myself, the violence and selfishness.

I've seen little in him I can't recognize.

I also know my mind would shatter, my soul would die if I did the things he does.

I'm tempted to believe there really is a devil in him, some malefic, independent force that makes him less or other than a man.

That's too easy and too dangerous an answer;

it's how so many evils come to be.

I must reject, abhor and fight against these acts, and acknowledge that they're not inhuman—just the opposite.

We can't separate the things we do from what we are;

Hate the sin and love the sinner is not a concept I'll ever really understand.

But I'll try to achieve forgiveness because I know that in the end, as always, Christ was right.

— Terry Anderson

Notebook LEVEL ONE

1. Look at my list of highs, lows and turning points —the one with specific incidents and epiphanies/peak experiences (on pages 7-8) — and come up with a similar list. Now you will have ten ideas for poems based on life experience and expressing specific truths. Put these in your journal and write a passage about what you hope your poem conveys. Try to envision key elements and list them. You'll use these ideas in notebook exercises in later chapters.

2. Review ways to research ideas using encyclopedias, quotation references, biographies, collections of letters and published diaries, journals and autobiographies (as explained on pages 10-11). Visit the library and conceive ten more ideas for poems.

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