Friday, January 13, 2012


Pondering forgiveness: and finding that the first step is to draw up the bill of attainder. If I were to forgive, what would I be forgiving?

Blue sky, the awnings pitching and flapping in the wind. A cold, bright, ugly day, with ice on the wind. Sunlight falls on my right shoulder, on my ear, and on the blond hair of my cocked head: I keep scooting down the bench to avoid it. Threatened with sunburn, in January!

Panic slowly rising. I don't want to think about this. About any of it.

But soft. This is only the racketing of a bright winter day, only the uneasiness of a burrowing creature brought abruptly into the sunlight. I squirm and nuzzle for a weakness in the earth, for a thrusting place for my snout. My star-nosed cousins, you know, can find out far more by groping with their tendril-blossomed snouts than you will ever be able to see with your great lemur eyes. There are realms below the clotted grass roots that you'll never know, not the way we know them: where the judder of an earthworm sends a whisper down a dozen branching galleries, and a footfall slams like roundshot against earthworks.

I am more demoralized, more afraid, than I can remember since the bad old days of IBM. I'm not sure what it's made of, but I know I have to slow down, way down, become deliberate and – to borrow my own word – dogged. I need to to make a list of the five main projects I'm working on, boiled down to single sentences, and be able to say which of those things each thing I'm working on is in service of. Because I suspect I've sold myself into service of something or someone else. Careful here. Careful. Whatever you do, don't hurry, don't shy, don't skip. If you run it only draws the predators. Step by step. Life is elsewhere, maybe, but that doesn't matter right now.


Murr Brewster said...

Also, ice cream.

Zhoen said...

Forgiveness is not because they deserve it, but because you deserve it. Their sins are a burden you carry if you don't forgive.

Familiar state of mind, the urge to rush, knowing the need for deliberation and thoroughness. Just the job in front of one's snout. Oh, Mole, oh bother.

Kathleen said...

Feeling for you, mole.

Sabine said...

Tough job, this one step/day at a time business, but you'll get there.

rbarenblat said...

There is a way through the demoralization and the fear. The best way I know is breathing, and slow steps, and love. I send plenty of that last your way. :-)

Dale said...

Murr: always ice cream! :-)

Zhoen: oh, yes. But I don't care about what people deserve: that's way more to carry than I have any intention of taking on!

Kathleen, Sabine, Rachel: thanks!

And everyone: don't take me too seriously. This isn't a report on my mental health: just a wallow in the slough of despond. By the time you read it I was frisking in the meadow again.

Lucy said...

I liked the bit about life being elsewhere but it doesn't matter.

Please don't worry about us worrying about you!

Marly Youmans said...

Ah. Meadow friskings are good for a Mole.

Did you notice that there is a "Dr. Dale Mole?"

Good cheer! It's good against all forms of panic-and-havoc...