Error is a hardy plant! It flourisheth in every soil. Tupper

Were it not for the wisdom of Seneca, Cicero
and Alexander Pope’s poetry
about the divinity of forgiveness, would we ever
stop crying over spilled milk?
We all make mistakes all the time. Deer and moose
sometimes spatter our windshields

with blood. Mourned for dogs and cats also fail
to make it across the road leaving
a carrion meal for shadows of hungry crows circling
overhead. Even squirrels go splat
when they leap for a branch that eludes their grasp.
Presidents, statesmen and generals err.
Remember Pearl Harbor, Gallipoli,
and the reassuring words uttered by Chamberlain?
Erroneousness, a flaw of being human:
the briefcase left on the roof of a car, a lost
wallet, passport, watch or ring.
The classmate who dove into a quarry pond the
first day of summer after school
let out, hitting a rock that rendered him
wheel-chair bound the rest of his life.
Not paying attention results in broken bones
puddles of blood. Nobody lives to
regret groping for meds in the dark, overconfidently
plunging into undertow waters,
or too hungry to toss a dented
can of ptomaine tuna. The distracted surgeon who
almost strangled his wife the night before
he cut off the wrong leg, and the very
worst of the worst blunders, the DNA exonerated inmate
pardoned the day after
his execution.

The quest for perfection is doomed.
Everyone and every body is flawed:
the self- tormented starving young women,
relentlessly exercising, striving to look
like anorectic models. The life-long damage caused
by parents who demand unblemished performance.

They fuck you up, your mum and dad. They may not mean to, but they do. Zillions of mistakes crisscross the planet like a plague of mosquitoes too numerous to
swat. Guilt and regret can smolder like a fire that won’t burn out. Gnashing
one’s teeth in self-recrimination, the well-worn path of self-flagellation, wondering
what you could have, should have, would have done, will do you no good.
Inattentive, or just plain careless, mistakes happen; learning to forgive your self,
over and over again, the key to learning from experience, as good a teacher as success.

Milton P. Ehrlich