Friday, December 12, 2008

Elusive Moonlight, Elusive Forgiveness...Almost Sounds Like the Title of a Harlequin Novel, Doesn't It?

I read too, too many of those Harlequin novels when I was a teenager. Even after I knew the heroine would always win the guy, I still read them for a while. So what would happen in a Harlequin by the name of Elusive Moonlight, Elusive Forgiveness ? Hmm. Yep, here's what would happen. The story would open as a young photographer named Elise was trying to capture the perfect picture of the Grand Canyon in the moonlight. (Note that heroines must never have a name that isn't in some way chic or almost foreign sounding. Note also that heroines the background for your story must not be limited to Podunk Street, EveryTinyTown, USA, but must include someplace grand or chic or possibly foreign.) Elise cannot get the angle she wants for the shot, so she bravely scrambles down an embankment and sets up her tripod. (Note that heroines must be brave, gutsy, etc.) She sets the timer, gets the shot, starts to climb back up the embankment, and the embankment crumbles, leaving her stuck at the bottom. (Must have some sort of dilemma for the guy to come along and help the heroine solve.) Along comes heartbroken ChadGunterTrey (hey, pick a name, they all ran together after a while for me), and he is awakened from his inner pain when he hears Elise's cry for HELP! Now, insert fifteen chapters including as many of these steps as possible:
  • ChadGunterTrey learns Elise's name from the label on her camera case.
  • Elise has no idea who ChadGunterTrey is.
  • ChadGunterTrey takes a long vacation from running his million-dollar business so that he can get over the heartbreak of losing his young wife in a tragic scuba diving accident.
  • ChadGunterTrey must find a nanny to care for his twin infants while he roams the world and tries to make sense of why he cannot get on with life.
  • Oh, yeah, you already know-- Elise needs a job to supplement her meager photography income, so she applies for a nanny position.
  • Elise discovers ChadGunterTrey is the potential employer.
  • ChadGunterTrey almost kisses Elise because she looks so adorable, but alas, the time is not right and he must head off into the sunset to find himself.
  • Although given strict instructions to communicate only through ChadGunterTrey's lawyer in an emergency, Elise feels she must contact him to tell him about the insinuations his mother-in-law has made that the twins should be adopted by her side of the family.
  • Insert more drama.
  • Elise finally admits to herself she really loves ChadGunterTrey.
  • They kiss.
  • The end.

What the heck?? Told you I read too many of those things when I was a teenager! What I was coming in here to tell you about got totally lost. Well, two things were on my mind. One, why is it so hard to photograph a full moon and have it look like the moon? Two, why is it so hard to truly forgive?

For the photography bit, I know, I know. I need to read some of the instruction book and start to re-learn what little I ever knew about manual photography. Bet after I do that, I'll be able to capture more of the surface lights/darks from the face of the moon. At least now, I can almost capture the immenseness of the moon in the sky. With my smaller camera, the moon could look as huge in the sky and only be a dot in my photo. Ah, Luna, I do love to look at your world, and I will eventually figure out the logistics of photographing it.

For the forgiveness bit, I'm not sure how to write what I want to say. Forgiveness is something I don't do well, but this isn't about me in particular. It's more about me seeing something in the way some people "forgive" and realizing just how badly I suck at forgiving. Here's the lesson I am trying to learn, now that I've had that moment of clarity:

If you are going to forgive, forgive. Don't add explanations. Don't "grant" forgiveness because it makes you more at peace with yourself. Don't dangle yet another opportunity for the person who has wronged you to finally apologize.


That's all.

I didn't say I can do it. I know I always hang on to that need to show everyone else exactly why I am right, exactly why I have been wronged. If I am honest with myself, then I can see that much of my forgiveness comes with a string attached-- I forgave you, now you have to do the right thing and apologize to me. Otherwise, consider my forgiveness null and void because you know this whole thing is going to stay with me to the grave. I'm a grudge holder, and I suspect that many people who think they are forgivers are grudge holders, too. It's just the way our minds are wired...well, not everyone, but you know what I'm saying?


You know, I have led a pretty charmed life, and I would say there is nothing horrible that has happened to me. Still, I hang on to little aggravations at times, there's no denying that. Doesn't mean I can't learn something from thinking about forgiveness and observing how it is approached by a variety of people, though, does it?

Done now. Hope the rambling didn't make you wish you'd picked up a Harlequin and read a romance instead of this entire post. . .come to think of it, either choice would've eaten up about the same amount of time :)

Happy Friday!


Anonymous said...

Interesting reading - both your outline for the romance and the thoughts about forgiveness.

The same is true for apologies. It has to be just simply "I'm sorry".

If you stick the but in there - you know - "I'm sorry, but ...", the apology is just not right.

I'm not so good at leaving the but out.

angelinabeadalina said...

"If you stick the but in there - you know - "I'm sorry, but ...", the apology is just not right.

I'm not so good at leaving the but out." Ditto for me. Got that same problem.

ellen said...

Nowhere did I see the words "heaving bodice." I thought those were always included.
Also - yeah, that forgiveness stuff hasn't always been my strong suit either. I can, however, say that I don't "hate" anyone anymore. I had a few on my short list but time healed.
I guess I can forgive (in time) but I don't ever forget.

angelinabeadalina said...

D'oh, I knew I forgot something! Heaving bodices!

I'm with you on not "hating" anymore. I don't feel right if I don't look at the other person's perspective. However, I'm not so mature that I can say no one ever irritates me anymore, LOL.

rosebud101 said...

I've learned that forgiveness is not for whimps, and that forgiveness is the most amazing thing you can do!

Deb said...

Ang - this made me smile! Harlequins indeed - the USA equiviliant of the UK's Mills & Boon.
My Dad's business supplied them both.

I can't even repeat what Mum used to call them, needless to say that as soon as I could I took a peek inside when no one was looking to see what all the hilarity was about.

Guess I wasn't as sweet as you - when I was old enough I swerved towards the 'bodice rippers'. Same formulaic storylines, but slightly more risque & usually involving pirates or brigrands - all insinuation, innuendo & very little real action. Buy hey I could always say that i enjoyed Historical Romances.
Mum used to refer to them as 'Hysterical Romances'.....sigh!

Forgiveness - what can I say, it's not the easiest to 'let go' at times. Forgiving without the 'but' is the only way to really do so.

A hint: start with feeling pleased that you are not like the person you are trying to forgive ...once you start feeling sorry for them it becomes so much easier to forgive without strings ;o)