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Of Joan of Ark and Potty Training

It’s 3:41 AM, and I can’t sleep. So I did the logical thing and watched Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 silent film: The Passion of Joan of Arc. While a bit too slow for even me (and I love slow movies), it was a beautiful piece. Here was an inquisition of self-righteous, old men, deluded by religious dogma, absolutely nothing like the master whose name they professed. In their midst was a girl whose heart-felt conviction transcended all the fear-mongering tactics of this grim, narrow-minded world.

I hate to admit it, but I identified myself with the grand inquisitor. In Joan’s place was my two-year-old daughter Aspen. “Just sit on the potty,” I say, and all your crimes will be forgiven. But little Aspen is unbreakable. “Just sit on the potty,” I say, “and I’ll give you a treat.” – “I don’t want one,” she says. – “Sit on the potty, and I’ll give you ten treats.” – “I don’t want them,” she says. I’ve closed the door on the bathroom, saying she can’t come out until she goes potty. To my shame, I’ve even gotten medieval and turned off the light. But she never gives in. Never. As those who have exercised unrighteous dominion since the beginning of time have failed to realize, conviction cannot be suppressed by force.

How could I not love such a girl?

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