Norma Tennis and Amy Moffitt

NormaTennis R

Norma Tennis
Painted using Amy Moffitt’s poem (below) as inspiration

3 Views of Forgiveness
By Amy Moffitt


Forgiveness is a ghost-like thing,
ducking around corners
and into the shadows
reappearing out of the corners
of our eyes, leaving
of itself,
like finger drawings in the sand.


I have fasted, prayed, lit candles in the cathedral,
dusted off my rosary, kissed the beads,
and prayed the litany to St. Jude.

But there is no ritual in the world,
no sacred incantation,
no sequence of ancient prayers,
no dance, sacrifice,
no pilgrimage walked on bleeding knees…
there is
that will open your broken heart
and let me back inside.


When she realized that he’d fled
and was now hours away from anyone
who knew what he had done
and what he could still do,
she drank three glasses of cheap red wine,
and staggered, sobbing, through her darkened house,
choking out a beggar’s prayer:
“Oh please God, please God, please God, please.”


NormaTennis I

Norma Tennis
Inspiration piece provided to Amy Moffitt

By Amy Moffitt

She woke up on the train.  Not literally, of course.  The train came out of the tunnel and everything inside the train car went gold in the early summer sunlight.  She had been absently staring at a bald, middle-aged guy who was talking to his friend when the lights went on and his skin turned gold and his eyes sparkled and she was suddenly thinking of the Archangel Gabriel.

Eyes are the windows to the soul, so when she because aware of his eyes, she woke up in a rush to the eyes of everyone around her, and she almost fell out of her seat, realizing she was surrounded by souls.  Her heart started to pound and it felt like someone was sitting on her chest.  Oh my God, oh my God, she thought.  We are all miracles.  I’ve been ignoring miracles.  Shit, shit, shit… what have I been missing?  WHAT have I been MISSING???

It was not a pleasant experience to step out of the flow, so she turned up her iPod, and fell back asleep.


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One comment

  1. Reminds me of Madeleine L’Engle’s childhood realization of other souls:

    “And that was my moment of awareness (of ontology?): that woman across the court who did not know me, and whom I did not know, was a person. She had thoughts of her own. She was. Our lives would never touch. I would never know her name. And yet it was she who revealed to me my first glimpse of personhood. When I woke up in the morning the wonder of that revelation was still with me. There was a woman across the court, and she had dreams and inner conversations which were just as real as mine and which did not include me. But she was there, she was real, and so, therefore, was everybody else in the world. And so, therefore, was I.”

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