Sunday, December 14, 2008

I really can't say I regret rien

I was meaning to write about regret today - a feeling which my mental-emotional (and, who knows, physical too, perhaps? For from what I've understood, they're (claiming to) find more and more of our mental-emotional-psychological thingies are rooted in physiological causes, serotonin release, noradrenaline, blah, blah, let's for God's sakes try to get back to what I was saying) my system seems to generate both amply and skillfully, relating both to things I have done and things I haven't. I don't really mean the "menial" things, like an embarrassing hair style and/or clothes when young (or indeed, now), or digging some totally talentless band, or whatever. No, I regret major life choices - entire decades - all bloody sorts.

However. For reasons too dull to be listed (including having to get up special early tomorrow morning, for work reasons, blah and yawn) I have decided against writing about regret today - a fact you might have difficulty believing if you've borne with me thus far, as I've just harped about regret for half a page. No, I'll leave it for another day, and instead I'll quote a couple of lines from a poem which caught my mind the other day, when I went on my Knausgaard investigations and looked up some stuff by Hölderlin, one of his favourite authors on angels. I rather have a feeling that Hölderlin would require reading in German in peace and quiet, and possibly supported by conversations with someone who was well acquainted with the writing (I found this helped me with getting into Blake), but this bit resonated effortlessly:

" You too wanted better things, but love
forces all of us down. Sorrow bends us more
forcefully, but the arc doesn't return to its
point of origin without a reason."

although I must say I start having trouble with the arc not returning. I don't know whether I understand, and whether I agree with the sentiment (as I've understood it - your interpretations are welcome, thank you). I am not entirely sure at all whether I believe in the "there's a reason for all this suffering, in the grand scheme of things" take on life and everything - but up until that point, I find it says something, something. Something. Something I do believe in, I suppose.


LottieP said...

No one has commented on this, which surprises me as it's the post I was most drawn to. I must be thinking about regret. I like the fragment you quote, though I'm not sure I really understand it. I'd like to think that everything does happen for a reason, but I'm not convinced it does.

I think the song I link too here is about that too. I don't have anything better to offer than this, so here it is (sorry about the video).


Anna MR said...

Hei Lottie, and Merry Christmas. Lovely to find you here, and sorry I've left you unreplied to for a while. Yes - it's a funny thing about regret, is it not? For while I know it to be a totally fruitless thing, there are times when I positively dwell on it, helpless, black-minded, looking-back instead of ahead. Dull and duller, too, for anyone who has to listen to it (mainly me, luckily (I hope), for it's an internal monologue thing, often without words, more like loops of film showing all the things as they were, as they should have been, as they could have been. Blah).

I wonder if others do it too? You say you were drawn to this post, maybe thinking about regret. Often I feel I have no idea what goes on in the inner lives of other people, and I think I've a tendency to make them happier and more balanced than they are (or than me).

It would be a comfort, wouldn't it, if one could believe things happen for a reason? Although it would also mean there's a great universal plan, a preordainedness of everything, a Fate, against which we cannot fight, and I don't know whether that is a comfort. I have an acceptance for many of the (painful) events in my life because they led me to be here, the mother of these children, in the situation where I am, which I am grateful for, for my situation could be so very much worse in so very many ways, and I wouldn't regret away my children. It is the way(s) in which I have behaved, the choices I have made here and there, which I have serious problems with.

Thank you for the song, too - who's it by? And - between you and me and whoever happens here to read this - I am actually quite a fan of "House", although these clips seem to be from a season I haven't got to, yet (so I had to take care not to watch to spoil the dramatic tension of the episodes to come. Deary me).

And incidentally, I noted from your blog you seem to be in Edinburgh for Christmas. Hope you've had a lovely time. Funnily enough, I'll be there in a couple of weeks, to meet up with the lovely NMJ. It'll be my first visit to the city, although I have been to Scotland before. Any must-see's you'd like to recommend?

Hope you have a beautiful Boxing Day, Lottie.