She’s still bitter. I don’t blame her, but life is both sorrow and joy. There is nothing we get to keep forever, not even our lives. I ran across Wordworth‘s words the other day, and I wanted to email them to her….

What though the radiance which was once so bright/Be now forever taken from my sight,/Though nothing can bring back the hour /Of splendor in the grass, or glory in the flower;/We will grieve not, rather find/Strength in what remains behind….

But I didn’t. Nor did I watch the aching long-ago movie with those words as its theme. As a young woman, when I saw the movie, I didn’t understand it. But now I do. Hold tight to what you love while you have it, grieve it when it’s gone, but move on…and on…and on…..because that’s what life does.

Have you let go yet? Tell me how you did it….


5 responses to “bitter

  1. I remember the movie and the quote, and both meantso much to me in the angst of my teenage years amid those taboo hormonal urges.

  2. Oh, Karleen, isn’t it all about letting go and then turning your face to the sun?

  3. What kind of flower is this blue one? I can see your love of nature’s beauty parallels my own. And your sorrow. How to let go?

    Alice Walker’s poem “How Poems are Made …” sustains me at times–“Letting go in order to hold on/I finally understand how poems are made. …”

    When I was teaching literature, I used this poem to apply to writing, to life, to love, to tragedy, to overcoming fear (as when my son Earl bravely went to teach English in Japan for a year and found himself surprisingly homesick).

    And yet, my own life story challenges this resolve. Sometimes I am overwhelmed with bitterness, anger at my mother for sabotaging my life plans, anger at myself for allowing her to. My now husband and i (after a lifetime apart married to others) have periods of overwhelming regret, and periods of gratitude that we have found each other.

    Perhaps we should stop trying to overcome and begin to accept the periods of bitterness, take sustance in the beauty of nature, the intensity of blue we see in that flower, the delicate peach of an impatiens, the surprise of a yellow rose, and allow the beauty to flow into the bitterness. Accept both, embrace both.

    A symphony is comprised of deep disturbing chords balanced by light joyful ones.

  4. Bonnie Chumney

    You let go, because you have to. When something, or someone, leaves the stage of our lives, its purpose in our life has been served. Something new is coming on the stage, with its own special purpose. We let go of what was, so we can grasp what is to come.

  5. If the subject is romantic relationships, or friendships, or acquaintances that have ended unhappily, I have found that my feelings were more of profound disappointment than bitterness. I tend to focus on the reasons that drew me to that person in the first place, and I realize that those qualities remain. Unless that person deliberately tried to harm me, I work toward a “Live and Let Live” attitude. But I also recognize that I learned a lot about that person’s modus operandi, and I accept that it won’t change and that being involved with that person would always have a toxicity to it. I am an introspective person, so I learn a lot about myself through these experiences. My goal is to achieve personal growth and move on. I can tell you that I occasionally encounter some of these former relations and that my interactions with them are cordial. In almost all cases, I was the one dumped or betrayed, so I have had to do a lot of healing and inner work to achieve this mindset.

    I don’t know that I would be able to achieve this attitude if the person had actually tried to hurt me physically or had tried to ruin me in some other way. The situations I am describing were based on long-term, consistent selfish, immature, and dysfunctional actions and behavior of the former relations.

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