Two Kinds of Forgiveness

Poor September! How much easier, to be hard and bright and heartless. Instead, a very adult thing was happening in that green, new heart. For there are two kinds of forgiveness in the world: the one you practice because everything really is all right, and what went before is mended. The other kind of forgiveness you practice because someone needs desperately to be forgiven, or because you need just as badly to forgive them, for a heart can grab hold of old wounds and go sour as milk over them. You, being sharp and clever, will have noticed that I used “practice.” Forgiveness always takes practice to get right, and September was very new at it. She had none of the first sort in her.

— Catherynne M. Valente, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, p. 200

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