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Foreshadowed Wrong

Dear ___,

In regards to my mother, I found the following quote from Marilynne Robinson:

"The thoughtlessness of any individual, when it is seen to be in service to the mindfulness of the Lord, cannot justify anger. ...the fact is, it is seldom indeed that any wrong one suffers is not thoroughly foreshadowed by wrongs one has done. That said, it has never been clear to me how much this realization helps when it comes to the practical difficulty of controlling anger. Nor have I found any way to apply it to present circumstance, though I have not yet abandoned the effort."

My mother forgot my birthday, I can only assume. If you even read these letters I send, you would know that I turned 35 just over a week ago. My mother did not call. There was no card or email. No care package. There was a little mold today on what was left of my second birthday cake. I have thrown it out. I almost finished it.

My mother and I are not close. This thoughtlessness on her part was indeed "thoroughly foreshadowed" by my own thoughtlessness. I have missed birthdays as well as Mother's Days. This is what I tell myself, not only to mitigate hurt feelings and anger (I was hurt and I am angry), but because it is categorically true. I do not want to throw stones here. I am trying to be gracious in my old age, such that it is. But it occurs to me that we (my mother and I) have a problem, and, faced with being angry at her, I have no idea how to address it or, more particularly, to fix it.

What makes it especially bad for me is that many people tried very hard to make my birthday a good day - and it was. A great day. There were calls and emails and robot messages and cakes (plural - thanks Karla!) and presents and a reliable check-in-a-funny-card from my father. And yet, at the end of the day, there was that flash of insecurity - and then the wallop of feeling small, orphaned and adrift. It is amazing how eager we are to feel powerless at the hands of those we love, and how often they keep their hands to themselves.

But I am digressing here and I apologize. You don't know much about my mother yet. I get so impatient and easily distracted. I'll write again soon and tell you more about her.

However, I must say that your listening skills are greatly enhanced by your absence.

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post #376
bio: blaine

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April - National Poetry Month 2008

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· Autumn's first apples
· What It Is! Funky Soul and Rare Grooves boxset
· Collected Works of Jack London
· Spring Migrants