Atonement is a lie with which we tend to comfort ourselves, pretending and believing we can do penance and reparations and so be the instruments of our own redemption just by making amends. But the thing is one right thing that we do today cannot really write over and obscure the wrongs we might have done before. Past is unassailable, undeniable and indelible. Life is written in ink, not in pencil. Forgiveness is all we can offer to ourselves and to others who have wronged us, and so that here, in this moment, we can try to do good, better than we did before.