Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Dealing with the past

It's been an interesting few days for me. Not that one would be able to tell since anything of interest has been internal: all the activity has happened in my head. I've (finally!) been trying to deal with past events, to better understand them, put them in some context. It's about soul searching, peeling away layers of my recent (and not-so-recent) past and trying to come up with some conclusions. Well, not necessarily conclusions since I don't think I'll ever be privy to the answers I require. (And maybe that's the whole point: we're never given definitive answers because there isn't such a thing. Getting to "a truth" is akin to trying to get close to the sun.) My brain won't allow that type of closure. But I've identified mistakes I've made, and sadly come to the realization that I'll never be able to alter certain moments in my life. There's so much I want to take back; more important, I now realize, given the same circumstances, I'd do things differently. I'd like a "do over," although I know that's impossible. There's so much I regret, and it makes me sad.

In other news, I'm (also finally!) getting to the end of the Gwen MacEwan biography, which I've been reading on and off for a month or so. It's been a fascinating read, but also sad. I came upon two passages tonight that I thought I would share. The first is from a poem she wrote called "It Comes Upon You":

"It comes upon you suddenly that you must wear
The many selves you gathered and regrew
With a kind of pride and poise that falsifies their weight
With cool deceptive ease

Or else cry forever as once before you cried
On a high hill overlooking everything; God
Withdraw my fingers from your hair and break my eyes!"

That last passage pretty much had me in tears (after which the cat came to make sure I was feeling ok!). The second is from a letter she wrote just before she got married for the second time. I wish I would have had access to this sentiment about a year ago:

"It's so difficult to understand the self, and to come to terms with conflicting desires in life. I used to think that personal freedom was important until I realized that freedom is the most frightening thing of all, and perhaps we are only truly free within the confines of a pattern or system..."

I'll repeat: work in progress.

1 comment:

Snooze said...

The second paragraph is very powerful. But there are times when the system itself is just too oppressive.