Monday, 31 January 2011

One Regret

I'm just back for a walk around the area of my old home and old street and I spent a lot time thinking about the person I was and the person I could have become. It's something that I've used in my writing a lot, especially in the recent chapters that I did for the new novel, where I focused on the idea of regrets.

I don't think I have many regrets in life, at least few that I would seriously consider give up the person I am now to fulfil; which is ultimately what it would mean: nothing could be changed in my past without changing the person I am today. But there is one regret I have that I'd think about giving it all up for and that would be young love.

"It's only love, that can wreck a human being and turn him inside out." - Billy Bragg

I've been in love, but I was long Jaded before I found it. I look with awe and envy at movies of young couples discovering love together before their fresh young hearts became tainted by the possibility that it might not be forever, before passions were tempered by practicality. It seems that there is true beauty in such an experience and it's one that I have missed out on and the one thing that I regret more than anything else in my life. Breaking up with past loves, losing friends, even my parents separation. Nothing compares to the longing I have to change this in my life. I can't explain why this is. Maybe it's true that we regret the things we don't do more than those we do. Maybe it's because I tried so hard to have it and in the end, failed.

The logician in me says that this is just another form of craving and that I'm painting a prettier picture of the ideal that would the true reality would have been. That even if it had happened to me that I would have a whole different set of regrets - and this is true. But my heart still wishes otherwise, even though it knows that to wish such a thing is silly at best.

I doubt if I would really give up everything I am to live out a life where I got to know young love and maybe my acceptance of it as a part of me will, in time, allow me to let it go. But for now it will remain the darkest spectre of the past hanging over me and one which will continue to phase me into moments of dry melancholy.

It makes me wonder what regrets others carry with them and how much of themselves they would be willing to give to change their own history. Would you change everything about yourself to change one thing in your past?

1 comment:

  1. Chris, I read this with a growing lump in my throat. Those are the themes of my novel, set in Scotland too. Those thoughts return when we return to a place that was once home, and those ties tighten when we are torn from that place, those people. I don't know if you were torn from your home, but I'm pretty sure home changed for you with your parents' separation.
    As for young love - you are young! The feelings young love brings, that you perhaps feel with regret were specific to young love, well, they're ageless. And when you feel them again, you'll feel the joy of new love more deeply, and regret (those bleak periods of dry melancholy) will turn to appreciation of the past, and how it formed you.
    You write beautifully, by the way.