You Can’t Regret (although you do)

You can’t regret not becoming who you are much earlier
(although you do)
Because you couldn’t have been the person you are now
Even though the foundational 'you' was always there
Even though time has been lost in the interim
(a lot of time)
Although not really lost because it has led to the current point
And even the 'lost' years had their own logic

You can’t self-blame for much of what went wrong
(and a lot did)
Because you were up against it
Against the confines of what led to being lost
Which were not of your knowledge
(much less your making)
It’s not about evading responsibility
although it will be read that way by some
and to a degree with justification
It’s more (or is it less?) than that as well

You, like others, were a latecomer on the scene
Despite the cultural myths
(and they are myths)
Of self-invention
Belief that you are the author of (rather than often unwitting co-contributor to)
Your 'own' story

Myths which took years to see through
When so much depended all that time
on not recognising
that relationality rules
And that self is the residue, if not sole product, of interactions
Of experience.
Myths which took years to discern
through the fog and deflection of cognitive inquiry
which seemed to hold out answers but which often asked the wrong questions.
Life escapes all the categories
Which is less justification than simple – no complex –

You can’t regret not seeing and understanding this earlier
Given the impacts of such myopia
You can’t regret that some truths have to play out in deeply regrettable ways
Before being recognized
You can’t regret what life entails
when those are the terms on which it is offered
(although you do)

12 May 2020