Thursday, September 20, 2007
While having some ability to forgive others, I still struggle with it, that long tunnel of having come to turns with something only to find out that you have not, that you really harbor a grudge in your heart, that you in fact are upset, not just a little upset, but really upset, upset enough to perseverate on the argument or slight for days and days, creating an identity out of it, making it my little friend. But I have known people who could outdo me on this score and really take someone to task. My dear friend Hank generally wrote poems and letters to this end; I have found myself at the end of that gun a few times as has everyone he knew. My great anti-homage from Hank was his blues song, "Detroit Woman." It took to task me and everyone I'd ever dated. I received it as my Christmas present one year as did everyone else we knew. So much, I thought with bitterness in my heart, for the season of love and joy.
My grandfather was a charismatic, violent man with a propensity for outbursts, Jack Daniels, and twirling his pistol around late into the night. The concept of mercy was as foreign and exotic to him as the take-out Chinese food my mother sometimes bought from Polynesian Gardens, the only restaurant in town that did not serve chicken-fried steak as its main dish. He forgave no debts and his quality of fairness had more to do with some indignant second rate vigilante hopped up on meth than any spiritual precept. I did not learn about mercy and forgiveness from him. But he often said, You have the same shoes to get glad in that you got mad in. It was one of his favorite tidbits, usually when someone was pouting. The spirit was get the fuck over it, but in truth, it was good advice for forgiving. To some degree, we choose how we feel about most situations and our perceptions rule the day. "Detroit Woman" is one of my favorites off that particular Hank cd now. I failed to see the humor in it at the time, but these days I listen every so often and smile, think about his relentless quality and how it stayed with him in this world always and no doubt into the next one.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"If you take a lie and allow your desire for the truth, you'll end up with some truth - not fact, but something that gets you closer to the truth. That's what we want. " Denis Johnson
Drinking short story collection suggestion: Drastic Maud Casey
Benedictions and Maledictions