September 13, 2001

trust and betrayal

It's a cruel irony, that the href="">Ampersand topic for this month is
"The End of the World". My visceral response is that I have been writing of
nothing else for two days now. But that is not really the case, is it, though
Tuesday's events may
possibly have changed our world

My first reaction, when I read
the topic, days before smoke filled the sky of New York and Washington, was to
remember a quotation from Susan Cooper's Dark is Rising

If you have once betrayed a great trust,
you dare not let yourself be trusted again, because the second betrayal would be
the end of the world.

I disagree.

quote is true to the character who speaks it, I think, which may perhaps be why I
have never warmed to her, in her many literary incarnations. To my mind, it is the
speech of a coward, one who, once compromised, will never try again, will never
surmount her failures. Perseverance can be foolish; trying again and again in the
face of literally impossible odds is usually less of a noble undertaking than a
waste of time. But never trying again after a single defeat, never attempting to
correct a single sin, is wasting a whole life.

All of us have
betrayed a trust at one time or another -- for one thing, if we hadn't, blood
supplies would not have been so low on Tuesday, before the long lines began
forming outside donation centers. But whatever the sin may be, an there are more
grievous national sins than this, the past is irremediable. The only right thing
to do is go on, and to vow to do better next time.

Posted by dichroic at September 13, 2001 04:59 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?