What could be better than a Margaret Atwood when you’re feeling low? The characters are guaranteed to be having a worse time than you. I am loving The Testaments. The tale of Aunt Lydia’s breaking is terrifying and if I don’t want to believe it’s plausible I can believe it would work.
And it’s full of wonderful writing. A substitute culprit will not do in this case. A what? I get what she means immediately. Someone must be seen to be punished, and normally it’s OK if it’s not the responsible party. That someone would name the concept, use the term so casually- there’s so much darkness in two words.
I received a compliment, in writing, on Wednesday. It was from a Quaker, so it must be true, and it was a reference to my “very real gifts”. Unfortunately there was quite a lot of bad stuff around it.
So I asked Facebook for more. “Is there anything that you value in me?” It sounds disbelieving, and I soon changed it to “what do you value about me?”
-Insight. I find your thoughts enrich my understanding.
-warmth, wisdom, intelligence.
-You’re mysterious and unpredictable. You’ve always got something worth listening to, to say, that comes at things from a different angle.
-your friendship, writing, insight and creativity.
-100% honesty and a different point of view to mine which can only be balancing/enriching.
-twinkle in your eye.
-your integrity and concern for others.
– your calmness and spiritual nature.
-your sharp mind, vulnerability and kindness. And you’re fun. And you have beautiful eyes.
-You are a great listener, soft voice, warm eyes. You post a lot that I agree with.
-tenderness tenacity boldness
-openness, honesty and willingness to keep plugging away at loving relationship with others when it is bloody difficult. Also Quakers who it’s ok to be sweary with are a valuable resource.
-so interesting to talk to. Witty, shrewd, good listener. Great writer, determined. Etc!!!
-Openness and courage.
I note these things here to treasure them, because I need to hear them.
It has me reeling that people collected “observations” on how I irritated others. In five pages that phrase “very real gifts” was the only positive. I am suspected of being potentially physically violent, and accused of being manipulative, deceitful and completely lacking in empathy. I had to right royally irk several people to provoke that reaction. I did it, in part, by this. We realise these comments will be difficult to hear but we need to see signs that she acknowledges these concerns and commits to making appropriate changes to her conduct. Um. I am rueful. I am not sure I am confident enough to commit to changing conduct. I was angered before, might I be so again? It is humility rather than arrogance making me hesitate.
She who cannot control herself cannot control the path to duty. Do not fight the waves of anger, use the anger as your fuel. Inhale. Exhale. Sidestep. Circumvent. Deflect.
I wish they had asked, what do you think of Abigail? Then there might be a few positives.
Oh God! Perhaps they did!
Highlight of Facebook today was a post on a trans support group. Above a picture of an attractive woman it said, Am I the only romantic lesbian/transgender admirer left on this planet. If it’s love affection and 100% commitmen you’re looking for then I could be just that woman.
I took this too seriously. As some people seemed to be taking the bait (I was tempted) I wrote I am sorry to say I am suspicious. I had a look at your profile, and find your oldest cover photo and profile picture are from 29 October, which I think means that is when you started using the account, yet you have over a thousand fbfnds. There are some vulnerable people here. Are any of your fbfnds trans? Perhaps someone here has fbfnds in common with you.
Someone replied to me, “Stop moaning and send her your bank details”.
The Testaments ends with the words Love is as strong as death.