* This weekend, G/Son was looking at my collection of poetry books and he asked, “Nonna, have you read all of those books?” I said that I had and that, since I’m 58 and have been reading since I was 6, I’ve had 52 years to read and, in that time, I’ve read a lot of books. I said, “Of course, some of these, like
When We Were Very Young, I read when I was little, but some I read after I’d grown up. G/Son looked at the books and said, “Like Soul of Rumi, right? You read that when you’d grown up.” I asked him how he knew and he said, “It’s a thick book, so I think you’d have read it when you were older.” The most recent book of poetry that I read (but which I read on Kindle so it wasn’t on the shelf at which G/Son was looking) was Songs for Ophelia by Theodora Goss. What’s the most recent poem or book of poetry you’ve read? How many books are on your shelf?
REGRET is a short, evocative and achingly beautiful word; an elegy to lost possibilities even in its brief annunciation, it is also a rarity and almost never heard except where the speaker insists that they have none, that they are brave and forward looking and could not possibly imagine their life in any other way than the way it is. To admit regret is to understand we are fallible: that there are powers in the world beyond us: to admit regret is to lose control not only of a difficult past but of the very story we tell about our present; and yet strangely, to admit sincere and abiding regret is one of our greatest but unspoken contemporary sins.
Just before waking this morning, I had a dream about profound regret, the regret that a only a very young child can feel when the child is an old soul living in a tiny body. The act of supreme regret came when the child surrendered a hat that he’d taken to protect an older child. I’m still parsing through the dream. It was very strong and hasn’t yielded to any form of easy interpretation — generally a sign that the message is one that I really, really need.
Of course, Mr. Whyte’s discussion reminds me of the Edith Piaf song:
I can’t say, with Mme. Piaf, that I have no regrets. Nor can I even say, with Mr. Sinatra, that “Regrets? I’ve had a few, but then, too few to mention.”
I agree with Mr. Whyte that having regrets is a sign of maturity. Do you?
Featured Presenters for 2015:
with Regional Teachers
Monika Lonely Coyote
* Do you need some encouraging news after last week’s horrible election? Here you go:
* Enough said:
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