Tuesday, November 22, 2011
I know a fellow who has been on a quest for redemption for the past twenty years. A man who loved to sing, who had sung every day of his life, suddenly realized that he no longer had enough joy in his heart to ever sing again...and he has not, leaving the art of song to others. Upon the realization that joy had deserted him, he began to take a good long look at his life. His quest began, at first, with a thorough reflection of all that had gone before, the road of life he had travelled in the previous years. He looked at his failures and successes and weighed them, each to the other. Just as a ship's sonar will ping against an object on the scope, his mind pinged out toward all of the relationships he had built throughout his life. He tried mightily to evaluate the level of hurt or joy he might have brought to each of those relationships and carefully measured the distance of the gaps which must be traversed to heal where the hurt exists and build a bridge that might grant easier access toward a more joyful and harmonious link to each heart and soul.
To do so he knew that he must first find peace within his own soul, for he longed for peace and tranquility above all else. The task was arduously difficult, for peace within one's soul can only truly be achieved when redemption for one's mistakes is granted by those who might have become affected by his actions. Alas, the fellow learned that redemption is sometimes just not achievable. No matter how this fellow pleaded for the grace of forgiveness there were those who refused to grant it. His mistakes and failures were too often tossed back to him and his soul remained adrift. No matter how many times he raised his sails to plow forward, the headwinds of the old angers and resentments of love ones left him stranded and lost on an angry sea.
This fellow often set out on distant journeys to loved ones who gathered for all the grand occasions that cry out for familial reunion. On these occasions, simmering just below the level of quiet conversation, or intermittent familial joys, there still brewed the bitter resentments, ready to flare up at any breach of understanding. This made any future efforts toward a rapprochement of loving relationships fraught with tentative and frightening possibilities for further hurt.
I know this fellow well. He has now sadly realized that redemption can only be granted, and not necessarily earned. He now knows that any redemption to be achieved must come from travelling different roads and encountering different faces where the slate of one's relationships are pure and clean and free of unforgiving memories.
Until death takes him....and grants him the final redemption, he must be satisfied with half-full glasses, lonely roads and unfamiliar faces.