Long are life’s shadows, cast by an accounting of deeds undone, words unsaid, paths not taken. What weight, this myriad of foregone possibilities and lifetimes of lost regrets? A Pandora’s Box of silent heartaches and bitterness is pretty much inevitable for any life lived, memories of long-past things that were or might have been. But even amongst these obsidian shards, one can find an iridescent gleam, a reminder of the things that are, a promise of the things that will be.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind. But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know. Other echoes
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
– T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton (Four Quartets)