2020 air

the sky is the palest grey

kissing a sea that is more the colour of water than of sea,

clear light-grey-blue-white

carrying ripples of peace to us landers,

gifting us with the secrets which the sky

whispers as they kiss.

people walk in dyads and triads, or with dogs or toddlers or larger family groups,

starting their new year with one another and the sea air

blowing freshness into their hopes for the three hundred and sixty six days to come –

if we see them all…

how many will surely pass us without recall.

Not I.

I claim every day

I breathe I feel I think I listen –

to waves to chatter to my breath to music to TfL announcements

I will live.

I will. be. here.

Hove beach: 1-1-20

The regret trinity

I generally think regret gets a bad name.

I regret a lot in life: not persevering with learning a language or instrument; not trying harder in school; saying I Love You back when I didn’t mean it (!!); having cheese and crackers tonight after a day of healthy eating; repeatedly going to bed too late, and lots more!

I think the idea that is oh so popular on inspirational Pinterest posters (ugh), that regrets are bad and we should have none just misses the whole point and deep value of regrets! They can be the best motivator and prod us to grow into the people we aspire to be; to be better friends and lovers etc, to improve at work, to save money, and take better care of our health etcccc.

Regret isn’t shame.

Shame labels us and makes us stuck.

Regret labels behaviour and moves us forward (well, for me it usually takes a few regrets to get the lesson but hey, it counts!).

Anyway, I was mulling on this recently and this short poem came to mind…

Regret:

The gap between

What you do

Who you are,

And what you want to do

And who you want to be.

Shame:

The gulf between

What you do,

Who you are,

And what other people want you to do

And who others want you to be.

Freedom

Neither wallowing in regret,

Nor ignoring its painful lessons,

Rather striving to do and be

What and who you want to be.

And not letting others’ (imagined?) views hinder your quest.

 

NLB 3.1.19