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The Fifth Chapter

Mulling, as it were, the plot for the fifth chapter of Finches. I never intended for this to go beyond four chapters, but in the time it took for me to metaphorically mull over my tea, I thought up a fifth. The fifth chapter will be like a box. If you think about the grudges people can hold over each other, and for how long, one must wonder about the worth and validity of forgiveness. Forgiveness is an admission that there's nothing that can be done about a problem, so the problem should be let go. People who hold grudges, who hate and who dislike, even if they never say anything, are by measures more honest. But only by measures. It would be more logical to leave a problem for which no solutions currently exist so that the energy spent on it can be used more beneficially elsewhere. Forgiveness is the idea that the unsolvable problem is someone else's fault, but by a fault of one's own logic, is something that one can magic away by saying so. Leaving a problem, knowing it's there but acknowledging it's currently unsolvable, whether or not one remembers to come back to it later, uses the least amount of energy. It uses far less energy than holding grudges.

I suppose it could be a form of laziness. I subscribe to that least amount of energy spent on things I can't solve just yet. In case you've wondered, continuously sanding down a story until it's realigned enough to continue its construction is not a problem I can't solve. It's just a difficult problem. Unsolvable things are a remarkably rare phenomenon.

You can't solve someone's death, for example. If you owed someone a kind word in life, and they died before you said it, it's an unsolvable problem -- at least so long you see it from the perspective of really having to say the kind word to the deceased and the deceased alone. There are ways to share kind words with people you've never met, and ways to make up for kindnesses never committed. Likewise, if what you owed the deceased was the kind of anger good enough to kill, it's still shareable. We live in a world where people seem to have no trouble sharing either kindness or anger long after the persons involved have passed away.

Which brings me to that box. If we had a chance to solve an unsolvable grudge, one we either moved on from or forgave but discovered still existed, I suppose many people would solve the problem. A box can be crushed, or burned. A box can be locked away. A box can be kept in a drawer with the things that control it, to the end of time. Wherever on earth would one come up with Hell if it were not so?

And thus, I am writing a box.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 11th, 2007 10:42 pm (UTC)
Wow. I cannot wait to read that story!
May. 22nd, 2007 02:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you, although this might be a bit late. It certainly encourages me to write more! :)
May. 21st, 2007 07:42 am (UTC)
My view on grudges and forgiveness and such is different. Naturally, I must share. ;)

Forgiveness is the world being put right again. A wrong was done, but amends have been made, or if not, the intent and sincere regrets are present. Alternately, a wrong was done but it's made irrelevant by circumstance or time.

If things aren't put right, I can't forgive. If someone does me wrong and doesn't agree that it was wrong, how do I know they won't do it again? A grudge, for me, is a line in the sand saying "Haaaaaaang on, we've been down this path before, remember?"

Tangent that may or may not be relevant! Remember a few years back when Patty came out of the closet on "The Simpsons"? There she was, set to marry her bride, when Veronica turned out to be a guy. He confessed his love, noted their compatibility elsewhere, and asked if they couldn't give it a go as man and wife.

And I felt a twitch, because that's the Sanctimonious Bisexual's argument, that it's all about loving the person, not the gender. Gonads don't matter! Personalities do! Minus the sanctimonious bit, this is how your description of forgiveness feels to me--if details are irreconicilable then they are irrelevant, so let's put them aside and move on.

"Hell no! I like girls," says Patty.

To me, that moment right there is the grudge. Sure, some folks call it irrational, but sometimes you draw your line and that's that. :)
May. 22nd, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC)
From personal experience, I've seen grudges that have gone on decades -- to me, it's usually the unsolvable (emotional) portion of an argument that people choose to nurse rather than let go. It often results in gobs of wasted energy and time that could be used for something more constructive. Grudges can go on that people won't even remember what started it, or if they do, the reasons might have been made irrelevant by time.

I'd much rather ask myself after my part in the grudge, ask myself if it's solvable, and if I find it can't be solved just yet, learn my side of the mistake and move my concentration to something else. I'm not responsible for teaching someone else that my POV is correct. If I've already argued with them, I can safely say I've offered my view. I don't need to keep pushing it.

Forgiveness, as I see it, is asking for a reward. It's me saying I want someone else to be wrong, when an argument always has two sides. The problem here is that the other person may never agree to being wrong. I may never agree to being wrong by sheer momentum. But I can apologize for the slight I've caused, which isn't related to whose POV is correct -- having an opinion is not equatable to insulting someone with it. Too often, I've personally seen people wanting forgiveness or holding it over someone's head. It's not something I feel compelled to inflict on anyone else.

But -- I suspect we are looking at the same thing from different angles, and with all due respect to my actual lack of disagreement with your view (I think differently is all), well. Tea, petal?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )