So, I have been forgiven - by the pigs. However, being a fettered human animal, able only to catch glimpses here and there of my own inherent perfection in universal goodness, I find it difficult to forgive myself. I carry the burden of 2,000 souls. All that I need do to relieve myself of that burden is forgive myself, and, it is true that just as I am inching my way toward being able to visit the few pigs that were saved, I am inching my way toward letting those 2,000 souls loose so that they, and I, might finally be at peace.
While I am indeed penitent, I do not feel a strong sense of obligatory penance as a means to forgiving myself. Self-flagellation does not lead one down the road to self-forgiveness. Self-flagellation binds one to guilt, to shame, to repentance in a way that exacerbates them, imbues them with undue power, makes it possible for them to overtake one in such a way that they blot out the brightness of one's future.
What, you might be asking by now does this have to do with starting a pig or farm animal sanctuary here at In Line Farm? For me, in the varied ways that I relate to the decade I lived and worked as a pig farmer, starting a sanctuary is akin to holding too tightly, to binding myself too tightly to the ghosts of the 2,000. For me, starting a sanctuary would be to begin a painful journey down an infinitely circular path of undignified and meaningless self-flagellation.