Monday, November 21, 2011


21 November 2011

We seem to be at an impass.

This situation has oscillated dozens of times by now from wildly convoluted to painfully simple. At each turn, there is a small moment of uncertainty when I feel anxiety about what's to come, and you revel in my apparent thoughtlessness. It is at these times when you believe me to be the most vulnerable, and while that isn't an unreasonable conclusion, you are sorely mistaken.

Right now we are at that latter stage of oscillation: painfully simple. I thought everyone's roles were well understood. I thought, for once, the bases had been swept clean, and everyone knew their place, and we could start a fresh inning. As an added bonus, I also believed there would be a relative peace about the whole encampment, which is not typical of our ups and downs, as everyone's weater-beaten shelter can attest to. Recent events prove that this time, I was sorely mistaken. There will be no such rest.

It seems we may be back on an upswing. Energy is being added to the system. Instability is being created which will lead to another inflation and inevitable uncontrolled reaction. We are tempting Entropy, Pluto's ever faithful hound, to come in and set things right all over again, leaving another giant mess we can all pretend to be surprised and regretful over.

But I have news for you. I'm no longer in the mood. I'm taking my ball and going home. I am reaching a level of self-acceptance that, while totally unfamiliar and anxiety-inducing, is increasingly comfortable. True, there are complications, but I'm learning to wear my scarlet letter well, almost proudly. I am branded, yes, but I am also free of the secrets that held me down for so long. I can no longer be hurt because the armory is empty.

So while I may not have the grace of Hester Prynne, I am still striving for the self-honesty of Reverend Mr. Hooper. Like both characters, I am surrounded by Puritans who display horror at such realities they deny any knowledge of or experience with. Like Prynne's community and Hooper's congregation, my acknowledgement of wrongdoing is repulsive to those around me. Like these two, one a blatant sinner who proves herself to be a good and worthy person, and one a pious minister who mourns the Weltschmertz he can't help but notice, I will experience expulsion and suffering, and be better for it.

Sneer at my scarlet letter and my black viel. Point and accuse. Curse me with your self-righteousness. And thank me. It is people like me, we scapegoats of accusation who bear the blunt ends of the shameful secrets you keep, who enable you to live in your pristine existence unnoticed. It is I who will stand by and publicly endure my own sin so that you can sit quiet in yours which is hidden.

You're welcome.