Play me first.
I’ve written this from many different places, fragments of time that is now memories embedded into words. As I write this sentence I’m in a Cambodian island called Koh Rong. It is Christmas day and I’m sitting on a table at a wooden restaurant just a few steps away from the sea. Music is playing in my ears, diluting the noises, laughter, and voices all around me. The girls are still in the bungalow, still asleep from a long night of celebrating and dancing. Fragments of the past two months continue to run through me. Plane rides, boat rides, overnight buses, scooter rides, tuk tuks, hundreds of faces, places, memories, things, emotions, swirling all around my head. The days are dense. Memories are full.
I’m playing back this film of memories in my head. Some are playing fast forward. Some in slow motion. Some I want to share…
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I sat in the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis last week, self-consciously wiping the tears off my face. It doesn’t matter if it’s the 1951 version with Alistair Sim or the 1992 Muppet version or a live version on stage, A Christmas Carol always has me sniffling by the time the third spirit arrives. I know what is coming. The break of day and redemption.
This idea of redemption, not in an afterlife or by last minute acts of desperation, but in the present, is such a beautiful, gut-wrenching concept to me. And I don’t think a supernatural fright is necessary to experience it.
Most of us have not committed egregious, prosecutable crimes. For those who have, I leave it to their victims to offer redemption. Most of us are petty criminals – innocuous in our envy, silently savoring our pride or our appearance, holding petty grudges or being snarky. I…
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