Tuesday, June 1, 2010

the handwriting itself, independent of anything it may convey

Though I love the tug of a pen across paper, I write better with my hands on a keyboard. For some things, however, only ink and paper will do. To do lists should not be typed up. Neither should recipes. Reading notes should be typed. Worries and fears should be written. Apologies should never be sent via email or typed and handed over. For an apology only heavy paper and thick lines of ink will do.

For some apologies even the power of creamy paper and black ink is not strong enough. I cannot apologize, for example, to my mother for abandoning her to her life. I cannot say "I'm sorry" for not being the daughter she longed for in any way that could make sense, that ease her life. Neither can I apologize to the world - to everyone in it - for my insistent excess when I've had a drink or two too many.

All I can do is bear gracefully my own guilt for having stopped being my mother's daughter, and bear just as gracefully my own disappointed self-loathing when my conduct does not meet my standards.

1 comment:

dec said...

At least one poet agrees with you:

Your business is not to clear your conscience
But to learn how to bear the burdens on your conscience.

--T. S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party