Thursday, 24 July 2014


You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.
The road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom.

William Blake, Proverbs From Hell

...and this is Sawbonna. How so, you might ask? Sawbonna is about risking the act of seeing another, of being seen by another. It is the answer to the question: How are we related? The simple answer is: We are. The simple expanded answer is: We are relational. We speak even when no word leaves our lips. We engage even when silence is our dearest companion. Of course it is not a requirement to meet the individual who has caused harm to us. Never meeting face to face, which is not what restorative justice has to be about, and is, as well, not Sawbonna's proscription, is not the same as not "meeting." What conversation do I have in my head, heart, and soul, with "her," with "him." In the area of crime, of violence, of savage pain, anguish, loss, ennui, and unfathomable sorrow, lies the place where we have the opportunity to discover, recover, uncover, what is enough for us. What is enough for us when we ask ourselves how: respect, responsibility, and relationship, call out to us to go ever further and ever deeper into our own meaning-making and meaning-taking. William's Blake's words above, are as an invitation to Sawbonna's llanos of possibility. Sawbonna is to risk the impossible, to be ambitious. Sawbonna is to say: You have harmed me, and though I want to rip your head off, and though I liberate myself by having all of my thoughts and feelings, I will never opt to incarcerate myself in my own prison of fear, confusion, and hatred. I will honour myself by choosing the road of excess gentleness to my very own self, and in so doing, I acknowledge, wordlessly, that I have a voice, and that I have feet that will take me to where I know that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind. Sawbonna is the risk to see. Sawbonna is the risk to be seen. Even if we never meet. We are in relationship.

Online Study: Sawbonna-Restorative Justice, Church Council on Justice & Corrections 

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