Okay, so let me explain it to you yet again. There's justice, which is an appropriate response; then there's mercy, which is an inadequate response; then there's grace, which is an inappropriate response. Justice is an equal response -- the scales balance, you get what you deserve. Mercy is an unequal response -- you don't get the bad thing you deserve. Grace is a non sequitur -- you get the good thing you don't deserve -- it is unjust.
Nowhere in these formulations is the idea of severity, cruelty, vengeance. So when the Lefties object to capital punishment, it is because they have not yet clarified in their own minds the fact that there are distinctions in such matters. They never want justice if it's a punishment, they always want mercy, and often want grace. Never/always, that is, so long as their ideologies are in play: being existentially bad, Conservatives always deserve severity. In the instance of cold blooded murder, a life sentence is mercy, and cable television is grace. Death is justice. To draw such distinctions is discrimination, judgmental -- bad things, to the Left. They must allow the child molester to babysit their children -- were they to be consistent. But consistency limits emotion, so that's out.
I got some gossip from my former wife a few days ago. Not from her directly -- I haven't communicated with her for well over a decade -- rather, second hand. The world is literally going to end shortly ... but that's not gossip. She was talking about me. It seems that while we where married in Australia I was extraordinarily jealous, and couldn't stand her being around other men. I was physically abusive to her. I was the one who wanted the divorce and it came as a complete surprise to her. The folks she was staying with in America, after we were separated, had to tell me not to come to their home to visit, because I was so out of control. I poisoned my ... our son against her by telling him that she had wanted to abort him -- that's why he doesn't call her as often as she wants. I completely neglected him for a number of years. I forced him to join the army, deliberately ruining her plans for him to go to Oxford, which she had arranged. My son is going to have to do "the work" -- expelling all the demons I put into him ... if he doesn't do it now, he'll have to do it when he's 50. I'm sure there's more, but it is of a piece.
What can I say. It's all true. Fortunately I have repented in the ensuing decades and am no longer a monster. All my venom has turned in upon myself, causing me unspeakable and unrelenting anguish. Justice, then.
Kidding. My anguish in no way relates to my conduct or relations with my former wife. There is not the slightest bit of truth in any of what she said. I was utterly without jealousy; this is a problem in me -- like envy from ambition, jealousy is just an unpleasant exaggeration of a healthy emotion. I could use more ambition. She hit me, only once, and I didn't hit her at all. Because I was conflicted and dilatory, she literally screamed at me, "Where's my divorce!?!" I was friendly with the folks she lived with. She never wanted an abortion, unless it was in her secret heart. My son doesn't call her much because she never stops talking, and what she says is profoundly negative and frankly crazy. She complained in those days that he spent too much time with me. It was she who took him to the recruiters and signed him up, without even telling me. My son is an admirable man, well-adjusted insofar as a father can know these things.
It must have been Opposite Day. I heard of her gossip with detached amusement. Bemused isn't it, because I know how she is, or was. Well, amused isn't it either, because of the dysfunction. She seems to be literally delusional. This is the woman I chose, and loved, and with whom I had a son. The pain of that horrible relationship is gone -- regret, and well-wishing, remain. We both had execratory judgment, in selecting the other. I was completely unprepared to be a husband. She feared and distrusted all men. I don't know that I've gotten much healthier in the passing years -- I'm more mature, but wiser only through a fear of more suffering. She has gotten worse.
I don't write much, hardly at all, of her in these pages. Lots of complaint about my blood family, but I didn't chose them so can count myself as a sort of victim. With her, I wish her well. Go in peace. Be warm and filled. Don't want to see her, or hear from her, but may she prosper and grow. Were I to be thrust into her presence again, I would seek to avoid it. Were that unavoidable, I would attempt to suppress my irritation. I'm not all that gracious, but I no longer actively look for arguments, I'm right and you're wrong ... see how much smarter I am than you. That old Jack was a delight, for brief moments. Hard to be married to, I'm sure.
Our marriage was justice. We got what we created. Move on, Sylvia. A little mercy. A little grace. That's the work. It's good for the soul.
I've redecided that all my pain is not a disc but a stretching issue. I find I'm sort of lopsided, without a keen kinesthetic sense; when I think I'm facing forward, I really have my right foot two inches in front of my left. So I'm stretching. Some of them feel good. My downward dog is more of an upright begging puppy, and my runner's stretch is a shuffle, but so it goes. The Frog is what it sounds like, on yer back, heels close to backside, soles touching, knees out. An inelegant pose, and I have to visually align myself or my feet are off midline. I sight up the line of my soles, my enormous penis, my sternum and my head, and it falls into place. And man alive, that generic advil does wonders. The problem is changing, evolving, not getting better yet but these things take time. It's a process.
So: stretching isn't about doing splits. It's about not having crippling pain because postural etc muscles have so forgotten they're supposed to be elastic that they've ceased to move at all. Seems like there's a life-lesson in there. I'll wait for excruciating agony to motivate me to learn it.