Abel's Confessions - An Introduction

“If thou dost stretch thy hand against me, to slay me, it is not for me to stretch my hand against thee to slay thee.” Abel addressing his brother Cain, the Qur’an 5:28

The entries in “Abel’s Confessions” were mostly written in spurts in the mid to late 1990s, albeit I have added a dozen or so more entries in the years since. The entries are intended as poetic reflections that speak to the enduring turmoil in my soul rather than final conclusions reached through intellectual fermentation. Indeed, I chose to publish “Confessions” as a companion piece to my “Heretical Affirmations,” so they can act as a sort of counterweight to them while serving to illustrate the existing dichotomy and enduring conflict between the dictates of my rational self and those of my innermost psyche and predisposition. For it is only by acknowledging my innate fragility and perennial turmoil that I can really accept and be true to who I am.

But what keeps me whole throughout it all is that lingering, nagging, yearning burning inside me urging me to transcend all my shortcomings and contradictions and do something decent, and lasting—something that I can sincerely refer to one day as my legacy and be somewhat proud, or at least partly satisfied, that I have somehow managed to compensate for the guilt and shame that stem out of my all too human vulnerabilities.