on forgiveness

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I'm always happy when my aggregtor tells me there's something new on Ftrain. Paul Ford doesn't write in his blog often, but when he does it's always worth reading.

His essay yesterday, on the occasion of his 31st birthday (happy birthday, Paul...), struck some responsive chords in me. I've been thinking a lot lately about sins and confessions, retribution and forgiveness. It's worth reading the whole piece, as always, but these last two paragraphs are the ones that affected me the most:

The other day an ex-girlfriend called me up after a couple of years of radio silence. She said, I wanted to apologize for how I treated you. I was so angry. I smashed a plate after we broke up. I never broke a dish before or since. And I said, well, you did treat me badly. And you were hard on plates. But I don't feel any anger. People don't mean to do that shit, but they do. I've done it too.

I felt a little righteous, because while it does stroke the smug part of the brain to hear that you were wonderful and she was wrong. But I didn't feel that way for long, because righteousness is not much in comparison to the feeling of resolution that came because I knew that I had given another person some peace. I've been forgiven for things as well, some pretty dreadful, violent things, and it's hard to be forgiven but there is nothing like it; once, after being forgiven, I walked out into the sunlight and the world was stripped of predators, and I no longer was waiting for retribution from mystical forces I do not believe in. So hell, I said, take all the forgiveness you need. We hung up and I thought for a while, and told my girlfriend about that phone call because telling everything is a way to keep the lines crossed, tangled, and braided. She understood, and the focusing ring on the inner camera turned a little more, the picture resolved, a little sharper. Which is what I want for year 31: more resolution.

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I usually keep it pretty light on the autobiographical information on this site. You get insight but not specifics. Sometimes, luckily, other blogs do a great job for you of writing down sentiments and thoughts and moments in time that relate to your o... Read More

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This page contains a single entry published on August 12, 2005 1:49 PM.

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