My mom just finished reading the Scarlet Letter on her new Kobo. The movie was playing when I walked by the Future Shop. I heard someone giving a lecture recently who made reference to the book as well. Sometimes the world just is that way.
I read the Scarlet Letter in high school. When I first thought about it, I thought I had read it because it was required curriculum reading. But I don’t think that’s how the story goes. I think I read it because I wanted to read about sex.
I’ve been thinking about what it would feel like to wear a scarlet letter. Which of our sins or mistakes would we choose? Right now I’d have to wear a scarlet P for procrastination. My thesis is sitting there looking at me like I left her without water for days on end. Of course, there are lots of other mistakes I’ve made too. I’d have an L, F, A, C….most of the letters of the alphabet really. (I’ll let the readers be imaginative in their interpretation of those letters!) What would it feel like to put your mistakes on display?? Would public confession lighten the load or increase the burden? What would shame look like in a world like that?
Wearing the letters and seeing letters on other people though are two very different things. What would it feel like to know everyone else’s sins? Who would you befriend? Who would you trust? Who would you welcome into your home? Who would ever cast the first stone?
I think I like people better without their letters on display. We all have them. That knowledge is enough.