The truth is you will always feel regret. No platitude, no wisdom about savouring the moment, even when followed to the tee, would save you from it. Things end, and it makes us sad. That was the gist of it. It was the be all end all of life. We could spend our lives obsessed with how we could’ve done things better, but we couldn’t have done any better or worse than we did them when we did them. We know better in hindsight, and we try, but there is a guarantee on how I will miss the winter sun, no matter how much I bask in it, when spring arrives with its hotter days. There isn’t a single thing I can do about this; leaves fall, and we reminisce how the tree looked better when they were on it. They grow back again, and we remember how the tree seemed completely different at one time. It was the only human feeling there was—to talk about the not anymore.
Be present, they say. When you ask them about the good times, of stories when they were happy, they will not start with the moment or the day before; they will mention an exotic beach or a trail they hiked on or some important event of their life. It would take them hours before they said, “right now,” if they reached it at all. The human gift and the human curse were both the same—the not anymore. This suspension between what has been and what is now was where we spent our entire lives—not always stuck, no, but suspended by choice. What else would you do? The mango slices from your childhood served to you right after an evening of random play will never return, despite how many mangoes you devour today. It was the only way to go forward, to look behind and smile.
The inability to smile at what was, the not anymore, had people stuck in time. Once we smiled, we could move ahead, move on as they say, but to forget was out of the question. All we could do was look back and smile. That was it: all we had to manage was to think of it, whatever it was, and smile. It was much harder to do than talk about it, but so beautiful when done. We had to smile at the not anymore and get on with it. There was so much in life waiting to be remembered.