That Ship has Sailed

photoWhat is the purpose of regret? If I don’t learn from my mistakes and move forward the wiser and determined to be better, then no amount of guilty or disappointed remembrance on my part can have any use at all. Life, no matter how it ebbs and flows, doesn’t repeat itself for my convenience. Dratted Life, anyhow.

It’s great, whilst muddling through, to ‘get it right,’ but being a mere mortal, I don’t do that nearly as often as I’d like. Being stubborn and having my intellectual and emotional limits as well, I may try to learn and practice and improve, but I’ll surely never do so infallibly, and almost always, the progress is slow.

All the same, I think myself wise in one small thing, at least: I work with fair determination at letting go of or minimizing those things that I wish I could change but can’t. I’d hate to think I devoted yet more time to the irreparable past and wasted yet more of the present in the process. My adventures in sailing forward may be small, but I hope I’ll keep bobbing along with the tide of time in my own little way even if the wind has gone out of my sails for a moment.

And if I really find myself dead in the water, why then I hope I’m clever enough to get out my oars and start rowing for my life.

It’s Always The Other Guy

I prefer not to think of my own guilt or culpability if there’s any way it can be avoided. Surely this is a universal characteristic in my species, but it doesn’t make that admission any pleasanter. It’s lousy enough to think of myself as being quite so continually fallible and messy as I am without having to admit that it’s probably avoidable much of the time, and definitely not something I should just let slide or pretend I don’t have to attempt to amend. Being imperfect is crummy enough in itself, and when I look at my shortcomings and think of what I should be doing to let go of them and, presumably, to repair their damage, it’s more than a little bit overwhelming.digital illustration

It’s all well and good to sit and read a rip-roaring murder mystery novel and cluck with self-satisfied disapprobation at the terrible things those awful people do in it, but if I think I’m all spiffy-clean and untouchably innocent I’m just as deluded as any. I may take some delicate form of self-righteous umbrage should anyone dare to note that I’m not so much better than the petty criminals I love to decry in that movie I just saw, or to think myself piously, wonderfully holier than the lowlifes on the evening news who have done Such Terrible Things I can hardly bear to mention them, but what I conveniently disguise to my own satisfaction as trivial and wholly excusable imperfections might just as well be the crime of the century if they harmed another person or set something in the world off kilter, however indirectly or unintentionally.digital illustration

While it galls me beyond words to see other people painting over their own horrible inward rot with every excuse in the book or, as is the amazingly popular pastime among our kind, by blaming everyone except themselves for whatever’s wrong in the world, I hate to be reminded that I so often do the same. Mea culpa is easier to say than the plain truth of it in my mother tongue: I did it. I was wrong. I am sorry. I will endeavor to make this right. But at some point, whether all of the Other Guy suspects are ruled out or not, my own guilt should find me out, and I should be willing to stand up and confess.

If I don’t, my beloved sisters will eventually remember what I got up to ‘way back when we were small, and will finally tell on me. And I’ll have to admit to everybody that I was really hoping someone else with a slightly itchy conscience would’ve stood up and taken the blame for my stupidity and wrongdoings before I had to come out into the spotlight. Well, I did it. Whatever it is, I’m pretty sure I was the rotten fool that messed up so royally, and I do apologize. The truth of it will surely be revealed. I hope you’ll be gentle with me, as it’s just possible you know how it feels, too.

One Stormy Day…

digital illustration from a photoApologia

Bleak indigo and velvet was the sky

That hung above that cold portentous noon

More chilling than the goddess of the moon

If she had bowed her sorrows down to die—

My own, I could not grief so sharp withhold

But wept as though the torrent ought to drown

Me in the rivers of her velvet gown

And leave me breathless on the stones and cold—photoBut blue is not my cloak, or yet my skin

As much as dark the tenor of the day

And when the storm had lastly passed away

I felt the night might swallow up my sin—

Now sorrow’s misery that spoke you grief

Forgiven falls in sunset’s sweet relief.photo