Tag: forgiveness

28 Semi-random Thoughts on a Thursday Night


(This episode of #fieldnotes captures my week in emails perfectly.)

1. I’m thinking in list mode. Every thought is part of a list that’s part of a greater list that’s part of a series of lists that makes up the master-list of my life.

2. I smell like cedar and roses and contemplate my tombstone options: She Were Woodsy ‘n’ Shit, Fought the Good Word Fight and Lost, Saw Your Soul Through Your Underoos, Bitch-Slap Incarnate.

3. Settle on “Bitch-Slap Incarnate” and wonder what I should say in my own ghost eulogy.

4. Spent so much time writing emails to the high school on Max’s account. Constantly trying to find the justice between my wild child’s poor behavior and the poor behavior of his teachers and an institution so denuded of financial support there’s little room for individual thought or need. Here is my child hungry for learning, hungry for discussion, debate, hungry to fill his head with facts… and two of his teachers have raised my IRE by being pretty shitty in the communication and teaching department.

5. This week’s emails to Max’s school has inspired in me the desire to write a handbook for Max on how to not be an inadequate adult.

6. I have always enjoyed instructions on how not to be things. They strike me as being more honest than guides that promise BEING things. “How Not to be a Douche-Copter”. “How Not to Win at Life”. “How Not to Crush Other Human Spirits”. “How Not to Kill Your Enemies”.

7. My hands have been going numb a lot lately. It’s probably carpal tunnel syndrome.  Or stage 4 cancer of my hope.

8. It gets increasingly difficult to hope for anything in the face of war, guns, hatred, racism, general and other specific types of bigotry, hatred, bloodshed, firearms, greed, power-hungry fuckers, desecration of earth.

9. Watched a fierce documentary about tribes deep in the jungles of Papua New Guinea and was stunned with the gorgeousness of untouched humans. Then pissed as fuck because misogyny seems to have been the first bigotry humans ever cultivated.

10. And then I see the penises wearing sharp horns and for the first time in my life I understand the innate power of pasties.

11. How much cooler would strippers be if they replaced their pasties with horns!?

12. I can’t process people thinking that killing other people’s family members is a just price for their own freedoms. It’s nothing more than sanctioned murder. Murder or genocide, depending.

13. There are people in this country who wonder how a person without faith in God can possibly have a strong moral center. I want to punch them for being such ignorant fuckers, but I don’t because my moral code dictates that punching people is a violation of their personal safety and is wrong even if they’re confirmed ass-wipes. My moral code dictates that I behave in a manner that promotes peace and respect, or at least peace.

14. Forgiveness is both a decision and a process. Forgiveness is something you choose and then practice because it takes time to achieve. To not forgive is a determination made by an individual to hold onto resentments, anger, hurt, pain. It isn’t necessary. It’s a choice we make at so many points in our lives. To not forgive is to nurture toxic clusters of pain in a willful manner.

15. I’m pretty sure Max’s English teacher is choosing to hang onto the belief that he intentionally hurt her. From my communications with her it sounds a bit like a manifesto to hold him accountable for an old pain he didn’t even know existed. She won’t even fucking talk to him about how he hurt her feelings, like a fucking teenaged girl.

16. If she hangs on long enough she can become a nail-and-hammer carrying martyr.

17. When I was growing up my parents somehow managed to instill in me (against my will) some deeply Buddhist principles. I find this amusing. An ex-Catholic and an ex-Jew had us kids “Ohming” at their Buddhist alter in a family circle so many times and I rolled my eyes and railed against their “fake” religion and yet, and YET, it seeped deep under my skin so pervasively I could never actually disconnect myself from the basic principles of it.

18. Still, I am nothing. Nothing in particular. Nothing organized.

19. I will never align myself with dogma.

20. My biggest non-secret is that I despair for the human race every single day of my life but also harbor such unwarranted hope for humans and I resent it every time they disappoint me, show that my hope is misplaced, make me ashamed. Then I wake up and it’s there, like a buoy, this inextinguishable hope for us all. It’s what I try to crush after every disappointment. After every act of cruelty, every injustice, every crime against humanity. I try to crush it because it costs me too much. I can’t afford it.

21. I am a paradox of treasuring order, rules, morality AND acceptance of chaos, individuality, and circumstance.

22. I have forgiven my aunt for what she did to my mom. I won’t invite her back into my life, because I’m not masochistic or stupid, but when I search my heart I find zero resentment or bitterness there for her. I wish her no ill. I hope for all the best for her. Not the fake pretending to forgive version. I told her I would forgive her because I believe in forgiveness. But I also told her it might take a long time.

23. Forgiveness is a process. A process I constantly engage in and hope that others do too because I’m a deeply flawed human being and make mistakes and commit social gaffs on a pretty near constant basis.

24. Some people might say that I believe in idealistic hippie peace crap. I don’t believe in fairies, magic, or God. I believe, when pressed, in nonviolence, harmony, love, peace, but powered by the proof Gandhi provided that nonviolence can, in fact, topple a continent infected by oppression.

25. Okay, yeah, I’m hippie spawn. The world needs us, us children of the pot-smoking bone-fide protesters of the previous generation as the origin story of our super-powers.

25.5. That last sentence is one hell of a mess but I’ve decided to leave it as it is.

26. I have the thick, wide, iron-clad thighs of Black Panther, but I wear red lipstick when provoked.

27. If you don’t have the imagination for peace and forgiveness, you’ve let your river of pain take over your shores and it will suck your heart into darkness.

28. A big game hunter followed me on Twitter and I want to yell at him for being such an asshole of a human being. I hope the elephants and tigers and bears and rhinos hunt his game-ass down and share pictures of him on a plaque with their facebook friends.


Forgive my water, full of sin.

I unpublished this post a few days ago.  I have my cowardice, never never forget that there is still so much I cringe to say, to share, so when you think I’m being “brave” remember that I say so much shit that freaks me the fuck out afterwards and haunts me and lives on the thin surface of my skin.  A friend has reminded me that herein lies my power.  Such as it is.  This is the original meditation on forgiveness:

It is the easiest thing in the world to take my pain and paint a flag full of it, to unfurl it against a silver bullet sky, and wail into the pole of it.  It is the easiest thing for me to hang onto that pole in a dance like a virtuous understudy to angels and know myself clean of sin.  It is easy to stand up against it with all my starched fortitude and recite the sins of my community.  No one will refute the easy claims I have to pain.  Someone crushed my child stomach with a fist made of rage?  There is no forgiving it!  Someone split my lip?  I will hold this against my heart for the rest of my living days!  The names I have heard hurled at me from hazy corners where names fuse together in a herd of curses – I will never forget.

The glass bottles thrown at me from cars live in the wall of my heart where wounds never heal, where blood is raw and the band-aids are always wet with fresh injury.  I wear it close like a cloak of judgement.  If I let go, the evil in the world will crush against me until I wither into ash the wind blows across the Pacific ocean.  I never let go.

The greatest gouge to my trust, to my skin is delivered by those I’m meant to trust.  I am seven when every idea of safety dissolves over the covers of my dented Cinderella book, promptly thrown in the trash where all little girl dreams belong.  The shadows don’t scare me.  I can’t see.  I’m too full of my outrage.  I’m too full of my righteous tears to hear anything else.  My hair is pulled up until it bleeds from the follicles, fists meet my stomach lightning fast with the kind of rage reserved for revenge.  It’s blind fury, blind rage, blind love, blind everything.  Nothing but sightless emotion assaulting me and there is nothing, there is no one, there is no time, there is no relief, there is only my flesh bending, my flesh hanging, my seven year old flesh bruising.

It was worse than all my flesh in pain to see my brother bruised.  I could endure a thousand assaults, I could take that stomach blow again and again if only I could know his own skin was free from such battery.  You think there are these unforgivable crimes against your flesh that you will carry with you forever.  The truth is less available in the heat of your anger.  The crimes against the flesh you love outside yourself is infinitely more egregious.  The crimes against the flesh you love outside yourself is infinitely more complicated.  To forgive such crimes takes an act of will, an act of infinite love that takes the flowering of a spirit to achieve.

All the language I have used to never forget, to never forgive, to never release, to never understand, to never move forward… it deceives me into a grave for myself.  I don’t see the pit, the shovels, the eulogies.  I have trained myself into a stupor of righteous indignation, of hatred, of determination to taste and cook this bitterness I’ve grown in the soil of my soul.

Forgiveness is food for spiritual growth.  I know this.  I deny this.  I revolt against this.  I want my anger intact.  I want my calendar of revenge recognized.  I want to map out the pain I will administer, like taxes you will pay.

I want your stomach to capsize in the undertow of my rage.

I want you to die.  I want you to suffer before you die.

I want.

I want.

I want.

I want you to forgive my water, full of sin.

I wanted retribution.  I wanted all the real bottles thrown at me to be thrown back.

I wanted all the punches I felt against my torso to bruise my attacker spiritually in the same muscles.

I wanted everyone who ever shaped my life with pain to feel it too.

I wanted.

I had the empty desire.

I cherished such empty longing for others to feel pain.

Because I couldn’t square myself with my own spirit.

Because I couldn’t forgive myself.

I didn’t want to forgive anyone anything I couldn’t forgive myself.

Therein lies the deepest hole.

I had to release the punches into the night.  Into the dark basement where they belonged.  No one will corroborate.  It’s me against memory.  These shattering, bruising, life altering experiences that I can never rewrite, they are what they are.  Life has no do-overs.

At last I forgave my tears.  I forgave how broken I was for so many years afterwards.  I forgave myself even the tears I shed for my Cinderella book thrown in the trash.  I forgave the punches because eventually I understood where they came from, old pain.  Old abuse.  Old rage.

It never left my skin.  For years it was my self congratulatory forgiveness of myself that fueled my future.  I moved forward with blind stains on my spirit.  What had I, an indisputable victim, to forgive in others?  What responsibility of mine was it to absolve others of their sins?  What job of mine was it to understand the pain and rage of my of my attacker?

It never left my skin until I felt it grow corrupt in its desire for vengeance.  It never left my skin until I painted the pole with my own self serving deceit.

I don’t know when the colors shifted, when the graves of my past rose up and gave speeches meant to impress my dreams.  I remember feeling the pain of the soul-driving fist sometime in the early morning hours when the alley was full and my heart was empty above it.  The corruption of others is our own corruption.  The evils of our brothers and sisters is our own evil.

We are all connected by heart, by sinews, by blood, by intention, by secret wishes, by complicity, by objection, by skin, by hair.  We are all connected to each other and it doesn’t matter if we like it or not.

Your sin is my sin.  My sin is your sin.

Forgiveness is the only way forward.  Forgiveness is the only way forward.

Are you without sin?  Are you without fault?  Are you without dark wishes floating in subcutaneous layers?

I am not.

Forgive my water, full of sin.

Forgive the floods that frequent my heart.

I forgive the fist to my seven year old stomach because I have compassion for those less fortunate in spirit than I am.  I know the fist is acting in great pain, great personal pain, and it would love if it had learned how.  I go back and find the heart to forgive.

Can’t you forgive?  Can’t you find that place?  Can’t you let go the pole of your abuse and understand your power?

Forgive my water, full of sin.

Forgiveness is the only way forward.

Forgive my water, full of sin.  I forgive your drought, full of sin.

I forgive everything.

It’s the only way forward.