Thursday, January 30, 2014

Time for forgiveness

Although now that I have that title and a blank scene staring back at me, I find myself examining the word 'forgiveness'. It looks as though the word was made 'for giveness' -- for the purpose of giving.

And if I haven't lost you with that convoluted piece of an idea, it seems that we are in a time when forgiveness is in the air.

Maybe it's because we're shedding one skin as we depart the Year of the Snake and moving into the Year of the Horse (tomorrow). Maybe it's because enough of us are starting to wake up to the fact that all we've got is each other, so we better find some ways of forgiving each other and moving along in more positive directions.

Last Saturday was the dedication of Joy Kogawa House, an important Vancouver heritage site, as a place of reconciliation.

Speakers at the ceremony represented a diversity of perspectives, ranging from victims of sexual abuse and torture to those who contributed to the victimizing. Powerful is certainly one word to describe the event.

In the midst of it all stood the bravely quiet Joy Kogawa, drawing names from a box, calling people forward to bear witness to what they or members of their family had experienced -- or done.

And now this week, Pete Seeger, a man who never wavered in speaking out and singing about the principles he held fast to, has died. I love the words written on his banjo: "This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender."

Even the roots of the tree that grows in front of the Kogawa House
seem to be reaching out, as if extending a
hand in conciliatory friendship.

Or perhaps in surrounding hate and forcing it to surrender.

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