Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Step #2

When I was growing up, all the women in my house were using needles. I have always had a fascination with the needle, the magic power of the needle. The needle is used to repair the damage. It’s a claim to forgiveness. Louise Bourgeois

This quote leaped out at me recently. It is from the wonderful Louise Bourgeois who I came thisclose to meeting once. For years and years, she hosted a salon in her house in Chelsea for any artist who wanted to come and bring examples of their work to share. Barb Hunt was in town and we went together. Alas, it was near the end of her life and she was sleeping and no one wished to wake her up. The salon went on despite her absence - we were all there after all - and was hosted instead by two curators, who had good things to say and made me very glad I went. But still. But still, I did see the inside of her house, and if you know Louise Bourgeois' work, then that is saying something.

Forgiveness sounds nice but what does it really look like when one gives up the claim to being the injured party? And what if the person who caused thing that asks for forgiveness never acknowledges the need to be forgiven? Where is forgiveness then?

These thoughts crowd my mind as I pick up my needle.


OfTroy said...

a subject near to my heart.

I forgive, not for the sake of others, but as an act of generosity to ME.

I can not change other people, but i can forgive them. (i might, in the future avoid them, if i find their behavior is one that frequently/always causes me pain, but if i don't forgive them what am i left with?
Hurt? anger? unhappinees? I already have too much of these! forgiveness is a like erasing the board. It's not quite clean--but it clean enough to start over..

and then at some point, sometimes, you wash the slate.

(did you see the PBS special a few weeks ago on forgiveness?--incomplete, but good)

Robyn said...

Thanks for that comment Helen. I think you are right when you wonder what you are left with if you don't forgive.

I didn't see the special on PBS, but I am going to have to look it up! Thanks for the tip.

OfTroy said...

The hard part is FORGET(as in forgive and forget)--and the hardest person to forgive is your self --(you can't slowly work your self out of your life--others, to some degree, yes!)

There are some intentional hurtful people (to be avoided as much as possible) and some, who are clueless(me,me,me!) and hurt unintentional (i sometimes feel like an elephant among the ants. with every step, i crush--not intentionally--but un aware)

i know what it is to feel un forgiven --and try to forgive. (but i have also learned to avoid some people--as self preservation.)

Jen said...

I struggle with this. How do you forgive someone if they are not sorry? How do you ask for forgiveness if you are not sorry? I'm at a place in my life where I'm tryng to calm my stormy waters, and I think about these issues a lot. Jen