As a Christian, I am called upon to forgive people who hurt me. This isn't just a moral dictum, it makes practical sense. However much at this moment we might wish it, the human 'death stare' doesn't work. I've given mine many times and in each case the recipient defiantly continuted to live.. Sometimes you just have to live with the person who you now despise. If you've had children together you are joined 'so long as the both of you shall live'. For better and worse, you're stuck, and will have to deal with each other for life. Forgiveness is simply the practical thing to do. Going into a full boil every time you hear their name isn't going to enhance your well-being. If you have mutual friends the object of your loathing will come up sooner or later. Forgiveness helps you deal.

Which brings me to another of my former lovers, whom I shall name E. Of all the people I have dated, she and I came the closest to actually mawiage\tying the knot. She is also the last straw that led me to take the name "Transitional Man'. The good times were some of the happiest of my life. The bad times we shall not discuss. The only thing I will say is that when we broke up E's best friend recommended me to another woman.

There was a certain day when-- well that memory flowed a LOT of stomach acid every time I thought of it. I'd try to talk myself into forgiveness, or at least faked friendliness but could not achieve the necessary detachment. I'd even tell myself I was commanded to forgive her. Which wasn't enough to make me actually do forgive.

Our mutual friends did their part. They never, ever mentioned her in my presence for several years. Even when---

Well, never mind about that.

But if you are willing, forgiveness will come. You don't forget, but time and the passage of events mellows the bad memories, pushes them aside, until they reside in the attic of your mind. Like hidden momentos they wait there for you to push off the dust and pick them up.

I saw E. recently at the same science fiction convention where we met. She made a point of coming up to me. Clearly she wants the bad past put behind us. She wants me back in her life in some form. Actually she wanted that on the day we parted years ago. She wanted to talk about the end of things. I was the one who told her we had nothing to talk about, and then went to load my things into my truck.

But now I'm ready. Instead of seeing bad things, I now remember the good, even the moments when I looked into her eyes and thought I'd seen eternity. I now feel a certain nostalgia for those days gone by.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not going back, no way. You are called upon to forgive. But never to forget. Forgiveness helps you get on with life. Forgetfulness insures that history will repeat itself.