forgiveness…or the lack thereof



now playing: counting crows, “sullivan street”


it feels like a good day for introspective music.

it’s nice outside, from what i can see – i haven’t gone to lunch yet (i usually don’t until well past what’s considered the norm), but in walking past the one part of my building that actually does have windows, i can see that the sun is shining.

this morning, when i got out of my van, i happened to notice as i was walking around to the other side to remove a computer – that i could see my breath! i couldn’t believe it.

i also drove all the way home from philadelphia on sunday night with the window up and didn’t come close to breaking a sweat.

i guess this means, as beth recently pointed out, that summer has “packed up and vacated” for the season.

i won’t pretend i’m sad to see it go.

this is my favorite time of year – the leaves start to litter the walkways, the air takes on a chill…and there’s a palpable sense of melancholy in the air. the days get shorter, the sweaters and blankets come out.

it’s always been a reflective time for me…i don’t know why any of this could be considered a reason to make this my favorite time of year – there’s nothing about that that’s sensible, from a traditional standpoint…but that’s the way it is.

i’ve thought a lot about what happened yesterday, and my general attitude towards the kid who was part of that whole mess…and a couple of people have brought my capacity for forgiveness into question. and that’s fine – i don’t mind being called on something like that – in fact, i welcome it, if you have a valid point to argue.

for better or worse, i suppose that’s true – i think that i probably do have a limited capacity for forgiveness. when i’m wronged by someone, that never really goes away. i may put it aside, let bygones be bygones, not think about it on a regular basis – but it doesn’t really go away. if someone does something hurtful to me (on purpose, mind you…i can put accidents or regretful things aside, unless they become habitual), then it goes into the database. and if you prove yourself to be a repeat offender, chances are pretty good that i’ll end up freezing you out eventually.

now, it should be said that i know other people who do the same thing who carry themselves completely differently – people who harbor grudges and ill will that goes back years, in some cases…i’m generally not like that. i won’t hate you or plot your demise if you end up in this category…i just won’t offer you opportunity after opportunity to continue to wrong me. you can go your way, i’ll go mine, we’ll agree to disagree (or at least I will), and that’ll be it. i won’t bristle at the mention of your name, nor will i recount the story of how badly you screwed me over…i’ll just make sure that you won’t have the chance to do it again.

my rationale for this is that there are too many wonderful people in this world with whose company my time would be better spent than to harbor a relationship of any kind with someone who ends up on the other side of this particular fence. it’s not about grudges or punishing anyone or anything of that nature…it’s just about surrounding myself with genuinely good people.

now, there is one exception to this…i do have a friend with whom i’ve ended up at odds with a number of times and we’ve always managed to put our crap behind us and move on. i’ve known him since before he had facial hair, and we have a lot of water under the bridge – we’ve been at bitter odds several times during our friendship, but we always seem to reconcile ourselves to an understanding after a while. the fact that we always seem to be able to do that, though, is probably more of a testament to the petty nature of the stuff that seems to come between us than to anything else. all of our scraps have been over pretty trivial stuff.

and, chances are, if the kid down the street demonstrated a sincere humility in the face of what happened yesterday, i might actually be willing to put it behind me…

…but i might be just as willing not to.

speaking of long-time friends – terry sturgis, if you’re reading this, i promise that very soon i will sit down and write that long “what i’ve been up to all this time” email that i told you i’d send you when you hunted me down on the ‘net. if you’ve been reading here lately, i’m sure you understand why that hasn’t happened yet, but it will.

and, friends – if you’re reading this and thinking to yourself, “man – i haven’t heard from tom in a while…i wonder if – ”

don’t. i still love you. promise.


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