As­tound­ing beauty vs. toxic ug­li­ness

Rappahannock News - - EDITORIAL & OPINION -

Iwas some­where be­tween here and the West Coast when I read the thread on Face­book’s Rapp­net group about Jim Abdo’s prop­er­ties in Lit­tle Wash­ing­ton. I made one com­ment and then stepped out of the fray be­cause the tone and lan­guage

be­ing used ap­peared to be a re­peat of how many res­i­dents here re­spond to any­thing re­lated to the C or G words.

Change and Growth: When such con­cepts ap­pear ( par­tic­u­larly in the elec­tronic fo­rums), there is a fe­roc­ity that arises which, in my view, is not meant to ex­press fear, but to main­tain di­vi­sion here in the com­mu­nity. Fear in­cites the au­to­nomic “us vs. them” men­tal­ity and, where nat­u­ral di­vi­sions don’t ex­ist, vit­riol cre­ates them, and lies per­pet­u­ate them.

As a healer who has driven 15,000 miles since Fe­bru­ary to do my work, I drive fast, hard and long to come back to this place — even with­out hav­ing a place of my own here. Last week I drove 17 hours just to lay my head in a bed here. In this place. The only place that has felt like home in my 45 years. I’ve had a dream of build­ing a heal­ing re­treat cen­ter here and, af­ter watch­ing this lat­est episode of Rap­pa­han­nock re­al­ity, I won­der how the two can co-ex­ist: The as­tound­ing beauty and restora­tive na­ture in­her­ent here along­side the toxic ug­li­ness that pops up like Whack-a-Mole.

And, I won­der if the place that feels like home can ever ac­tu­ally be­come so and if, in­deed, I want it to be so.

Thank you, Rap­pa­han­nock News, for or­ga­niz­ing the “Rapp Live” com­mu­nity fo­rum and shar­ing the record­ing [on­line at bit.ly/rap­plive1]. I was glad to hear that re­al­life, face- to- face dis­cus­sion in­cluded hon­esty, re­spect and com­mu­nity. Those are the things one likes about home.

IN­GRID OLIPHANT

Flint Hill

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