Jonathon and I visited our favorite LP Emporium, Plaza Records, in Carbondale and found to our dismay and delight…3 new John Prine records. They were reissues of Mr. Prine’s 1st and 2nd LP and a 1976 reissue of his greatest hits. We lost John Prine to Covid19 in 2020. He is often referred to as the Mark Twain of song writing. His lyrics are like none that I have ever heard. It is a cold day to walk but I persisted in my attempt to walk the lengths that I formally did in my younger years. I simply feel better when I walk…but then again I feel better when I can attend the theatre 2 or 3 times per week…but that is another story.

All of us have been wronged at one time or another…or at many times…as far as we see it. Our feelings are hurt and our hearts are darkened. We know what it feels like to be marginalized and demonized and treated with a wink and a nod of faux acceptance. Then we carry those hurts and slings and arrows as badges of honor of the battles that we have fought and the reasons that we have not succeeded to our expectations. If it had not been for our detractors and our enemies and how our parents mistreated us and our friends deserted us and our colleagues left us in the dust bin of unrealized expectations. Soon we have become a product of our grievances the caustic depression of the wrongs that we have undergone. I have known many people that take some pleasure in their identity of victimhood. The identity of a member of ‘ The Society of the Unusually Wronged’ is a club that many have taken out charter membership.

Forgive and forget is the cry of the righteous for the great unwashed in our society. Forgiveness is attainable…forgetting is nebulous at best. Since I was a child I have been able to forgive. It almost seems to be genetic. My mother was a wonderful woman for who forgiveness came easily. Forgetting is somewhat elusive. Probably my dad leaving mom and I was the first and largest occurrence in my young mind was my mother and father’s divorce when I was 5 years old. I could not conceive how he left mom and I and the ensuing poverty that resulted from his painful decision. I was an adult before I achieved forgiveness for this life changing event. Most forgiveness comes quickly for me. I am upset for a few hours and then the wrong that has been perpetrated agains me…looses its sting. Whenever I forgive I loose the animosity and bitter gaul and sour stomach that hate and hurt brings…

Who is the beneficiary of forgiveness? I would say it is the person who forgives. Our human journey back to Jerusalem is laden with stony ground and deep valleys and hight mountains. The Bully will say that those whom he bullies are sensitive or ‘snowflakes’ when in reality the Bully is probably more sensitive than anyone with whom he perpetrates his hurtful craft. Forgiveness is freeing! Forgiveness is the Balm of Gilead and healing that can not be found in modern medicine.

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