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My mind will often drift off in a random direction if I allow it to.  Without something hard and fast to focus on, and sometimes in spite of such a thing, the creative side of my brain, which I have treasured and nurtured since childhood will begin to drift off into worlds of its own creation with reckless abandon.  This aspect of my personal psyche is something that I both pride myself on and sometimes fear.  The places it takes me are not always pleasant ones.

In addition, I have lived a large portion of my life toting around a burden of regret.  And, every so often I pull the regret out of its sack and gaze at it in wonder.  And as one hand carefully brushes dust from its surface the other hand is surreptitiously shoving more weight into the bundle.

Today is a day that I have brought the regret out for consideration.  But, as my hands play their game of mixed purposes I feel the creative side of my mind straining to break free and drift.  I know the danger of letting it run free with the regret so close, but I fail to leash it as I always do.  Predictably, as it breaks free to cavort, the pull of regret drags it into a swirling abyss where my mind becomes fettered by the sins of its past.

I find myself standing in a corridor of only the vaguest definition.  The walls are like smoke, swirling around me with a sound that berates me for my failures.  Flashes of light illuminate the smoke for brief moments giving me snapshots of my past as snatches of voice and song play through the space hearkening to yet other moments.  Every moment has a common thread.

My mother.

I hear her voice as she sings in church.  I see her smile as we celebrate Christmas.  A tear slides down my cheek as I behold these things, as I remember how much she loved me, loved us all.  The images darken, though, as I know they will.  Memories of my dishonesty.  Memories of the pain I caused her.  Memories of leaving, of not returning.  I hear my own harsh words and actions echo through the corridor with deafening power.

I remember the moment I knew she was gone.  I remember staring at that screen not wanting to believe what I had found.  I remember the desperation of trying to hold back the tears that would be so inappropriate in the workplace.

I remember standing before her grave, feeling the grief washing over me like a tidal wave, barely able to keep my feet beneath me.  I remember my dear wife trying to comfort me, but knowing that the grief would never go.  I remember returning with my father and feeling it all again, not knowing what to say.

I miss her more than I thought it possible to miss someone.  That loneliness is spiked through with regret and guilt and a myriad of other failings.  I didn’t get to say goodbye.  I didn’t get to say I’m sorry.  I didn’t get to say I love you.  And I have no one to blame for any of that but myself.

My mind slowly drifts back and I look at the regret once again through tear-stained eyes.  The creativity has crawled into a dark corner of my mind sobbing, afraid to venture out again for the time being.  I stare at my accumulated, and well deserved, regret, and sigh.  I’ve been told by many people who love and care about me that I need to lay this burden down and walk forth without it weighing my steps.

This I can’t do, no matter how much I wish I could.  The burden is far too much a part of who I am at this point.  And, the only way you can truly lay down regret is to know you’ve been forgiven.  And how can I expect forgiveness from those I have wronged, especially my mother.

After all, I will never forgive myself.


One Comment

  1. I realize your pain and inability to forgive yourself. I woould never ask for anyone to forgive themselves but I do think it may be time to release the burden. As I am always told when given a heavy burden the best bet is to let God carry it. It can be hard at times but I find that the almighty can be solace in everything. (I just realized I broke the no religion or politics rule)

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