Regret

On 21 November 2012 Saxony celebrated a public holiday called Buß- und Bettag, which is not celebrated anywhere else in Germany. It is a Christian tradition where one spends the day reflecting on one’s regrets, pray about it and then orientate oneself to the future. I thought this was a good idea regardless of which religion one associates oneself with. For me praying takes the form of meditation in the realm of Buddhist philosophy. From my contemplation a little poem arose:

Regret

Regret takes the shape of little clouds
that move in front of the sun,
casting shadows,
giving us bearings in the landscape of time.
If we could place it on our tongues,
it would leave an aftertaste,
a bitter one that lingers.
Usually we are only able to find it with hindsight,
there where we always find certainty.
A life without it is perfect,
a life full of it is futile.
If regret could be put in a little vial,
a little pinch of it
should always be added to the broth of life.
Too little would be bland,
too much would be to spoil the broth,
and just the right amount
would be seasoned.

Copyright © Quirina Roode-Gutzmer 2012.