Day 2. Open, your heart

“Have some compassion,” he said.

Me? I thought. Aren’t I the most compassionate person on this planet?

I said nothing. I deferred to thought. Slow to anger.

What I have lost is compassion. I realised that this means that I am least compassionate to myself.

I am angry with myself for finally failing to feed my teenager after 8 years of success as a single mum; I am angry with myself for being able to dress well on a pittance; I am angry with myself for being articulate and able to ace any interview; I am angry with myself for being slow, because people want speed; I am angry with myself for noticing flaws in writing: my own and others.’

“Your greatest flaw is sometimes your greatest asset,” said that polymath from IQ.

Seeing the flaws, I suppose, requires a dispassionate eye. It is not that I lack compassion, it is that I have been torn open over and over again, until (have you noticed this?),

the scar heals perfectly.


Published by hermionelaake - Awards-nominated writer and associate editor O:JA&L

Whilst working on long fiction, Laake/Wilds write short stories, poetry, essays and blogs weekly. Laake appeared on Blog Talk Radio in 2016 in an interview across continents with Susan Wingate. Laake is an awards nominee, Jointly-published and Indie writer. Nominated for the Avon and Authonomy First Lines prize, 2014 and the H. G. Wells Grand Prize for Fiction, 2013 for the original #MYFRIENDALIEN out on AMAZON BOOKS in 2022. Flash fiction is published with Open: Journal of Arts and Letters. Laake has an MA from KU with distinction and a BA in English Literature.

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