Thursday, July 21, 2011

Resentment: The Poison You Take While Waiting for the Other Person to Die

In the (so far) delightful Walking Ollie, novelist Stephen Foster admits: “I thrive on having something to resent.”

I don’t. That’s not to say that I easily let go of resentments, but I believe it’s futile and harmful to foster them. Whenever a resentment resists my attempt to fling it away, I reread this poem by humorist Robert Crane. You may find it instructional as well.

a pocket full of resentments
from Cranelegs Pond the Blook

i used to collect resentments like loose change in my front, right, pants pocket.

i’d never tell a soul either, especially the object of my discontent.
nope, i’d just accumulate them—little secret silent scars.
it’s what i did, very well!
yeah, in my front, right pocket.
and what a great place to store them.
i could wash my pants a thousand times, and they’d still be right there for me to pluck out and commiserate with whenever i was feeling taken for granted or put upon.

that is, until i met keaton.

i inadvertently did a wise thing.
i told her about this little fetish.
and then she advertently did a wiser thing.
i don’t know how or when, but she cut tiny holes in all my pockets.
you know, small enough for resentments to fall through, but not pocket change or my prized chapstick.
i can’t even find the holes, but i know they’re there somewhere, because now when i reach in to grab one or two resentments, they’re gone, leaving me empty handed in the bad energy department.
it’s refreshing really.
almost minty.

my only regret, i wish i had said something about this habit sooner rather than later.
hmm ... regrets.
now maybe that’s something i could collect?
i’d have a basement full in no time flat, that’s for sure.

Wishing you a resentment-free Thursday …

[Art by Anne Taintor.]

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