I'm supposed to be eager to forgive. Not just willing to forgive and go on, but when someone does something hurtful or spiteful or whatever and I am the target I'm supposed to be eager to forgive. Not exactly, "Oh boy I can't wait for you to screw me so I can forgive you" either, but closer to this than the other. I trust I've confused you?
When I applied to be a recorded member of our Meeting (that's a link to the place) this past spring and had my sit-down with the committee to recommend, the conversation came to what were my concerns about the whole thing and I said "well, a thing that might be a problem is my writing. It's not... uh... often... er... temperate. I mean there's language in there. I mean it might not be something where you'd want to say 'oh yes and he's a member here' from time to time. It can, uh, get a little raw." They smiled, even chuckled a little, and said there's no longer a thing where artists had to have the Meeting's blessing to present their stuff to the world. Yes they used to do that, but they said that was put aside long, long ago - and there are plenty of Friends who produce "challenging" work they have no trouble saying was done by a member. Anyway they have consistently backed the right of free expression and have consistently campaigned for it whenever "religionists and moral paragons" try to stifle it.
Then I said "Also I'm not exactly completely a pacifist in my nature." Quakers are pacifists and were legally draft-exempt when there was such a thing as a draft. "Plus simplicity. I mean I try that but, you know, I drive a MINI and I really love that little guy." That got another smile and they basically said - well a Hummer we'd probably ask you about, like, "Really? A Hummer? Dude?" But simplicity is of the heart and mind. And if you think there isn't anybody here who struggles with the non-violence thing you'd be really out of it. They said they're not much on all the holy roller stuff.
So, see? I knew I picked the right crew.
But the forgiveness thing... I have a problem with that. First, you should already know, it takes a lot to get me to feel 'you hurt me' or insulted or whatever. It's easier to get to me through hurting my wife or daughters or stuff like that. Directed at me and it may be a bother but generally you get my shoulder, shrugging. Except... when I DO get wonked out about something I have a tendency to lose it on you. And if you were on fire maybe I'd piss on you to help put it out... kind of thing. In other words this grudge just may last until they bury me, and then I'll hate your DNA and everybody you know even when I'm shriveling up in the ground.
And yet I recognize - hell, EVERYBODY recognizes it, you too - that if you don't forgive you're just hurting yourself. Not forgetting is one thing; that might not even be possible. But forgiving, it really ought to be done if only for the sake of your own potential ulcer.
I mean I say I forgive but I don't sometimes, really. Something once in a while still comes back like a bad lunch in the middle of the subway, and there I am pissed off all over again. I mean I think you know what I'm saying.
So that's something I have to work on. I figure if ever I can bring myself to forgive Pam Geller (no I will not give you a link to the hate-mongering screed of logical fallacies she calls a blog) I'll have come a long way.
In the meantime the pasta dish from last night was OUT of this FREAKING world. The key is in the ground pepper and the fresh-grated cheese, in case you're going to try it (let me know if you need the recipe). But HOLY mother of mercy...!