Remorse? I Have It

by Bill Brenner on December 10, 2014

Recently, I started exploring the feelings that EdditTheYeti’s art raises in me. On Monday, I focused on “Prayer” and “Pierced.” Today, I’ll look at “Remorse.”

Mood music:

“Remorse”

This picture was created with ink, wine, lime juice, coffee, tea, cola, soy sauce, hot sauce, and, as Eddie writes, a thought about what has passed. The creature in the picture hangs its head low, eyes too mired in the past to see the present.

Remorse by EddieTheYeti

Regrets? I have them.

Some people say they have none, but I never believe them. Even when life has worked out for the best, there are still those moments in life we would happily see erased.

Some of my biggest regrets:

  • That I didn’t see the full depth of a best friend’s depression until it was too late.
  • That I’ve been an asshole at certain points in my career, especially during the newspaper days.
  • That I couldn’t do more to end some family estrangements — impasses in which I was far from blameless.
  • That I didn’t get more time to learn from my older brother.
  • That I’ve fallen to addiction so many times.

But here’s the thing about regrets: You can’t change what’s in the past. You can let the memories rip you apart, or you can learn from the experiences and invest it in being a better person.

The beast eventually has to raise its head, refocus its eyes and move on. Otherwise, it will wither and die.

I chose the former to the latter long ago. The thing is, despite my regrets, I really wouldn’t change a thing. Those experiences made me the man I am today. And despite the flaws that remain, I like who I am.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jone December 10, 2014 at 2:06 pm

I full well know that beast that visits that you so well describe. I, would want to erase or change things. Keeping the beast at bay and staying in the present is rough and if they come out with that pill to erase memories I think I’d take it.

kirsten July 28, 2015 at 7:09 pm

This struck me because I just wrote something yesterday that was so similar – but never posted it. I said that regret was a worthless emotion if you spend your time obsessing about how you could have or should have done things but that it is not worthless if you react to it by learning and moving forward, hopefully improving and not repeating the regrettable behaviors. Ive done a lot of terrible things and I cant change any of them…..the worst part is knowing I cant un-hurt the people I love.

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