Thursday, June 18, 2009

Why Did it Take Me So Long to Get Lenient? #1

When I find Gerald Stern's collection of poems entitled Bread Without Sugar, I'll copy out the poem "Her Right Eye Catches Lavendar". From that poem comes the line, "Why did it take me so long to get lenient?"

I first encountered this poem about fifteen years ago and this one line won't let go of me.

Leniency has become a central ethic of mine, and I know I am not at my best when I act in ways contrary to it.

From time to time, in this blog, I'll write about small incidents where I was lenient.

For the interested, my hope is the illustrations will help you understand this principle.

Today I went to the taqueria inside Plaza Latina Supermarket.

I order a regular burrito with pork, a side of beans and rice, and a soda.

I picked up my order, sat down to begin eating it. I needed a knife and fork and when I went to the counter to pick them up, the woman working the counter said:

"Didn't you order two burritos?"

"No. I ordered one."

"Oh. I charged you for two. Do you still have your receipt?"

I dug it out of my pocket and, sure enough, she charged me for two burritos.

I replied, "I'll take the other burrito home. I'll bet I'd like to have another burrito today."

"Are you sure?"


She smiled broadly.

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