• Michael Edmondson

How often do you live with regret?


Today is November 30 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “How often do you live with regret?”

People who navigate the chaos try to live a life of no regret.

Irish Poet and Novelist Oscar Wilde wrote:

“When first I was put into prison some people advised me to try and forget who I was. It was ruinous advice. It is only by realising what I am that I have found comfort of any kind. Now I am advised by others to try on my release to forget that I have ever been in a prison at all. I know that would be equally fatal. It would mean that I would always be haunted by an intolerable sense of disgrace, and that those things that are meant for me as much as for anybody else - the beauty of the sun and moon, the pageant of the seasons, the music of daybreak and the silence of great nights, the rain falling through the leaves, or the dew creeping over the grass and making it silver - would all be tainted for me, and lose their healing power, and their power of communicating joy. To regret one's own experiences is to arrest one's own development. To deny one's own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one's own life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.”

This observation was published in De Profundis (Latin: "from the depths"), a letter written by Oscar Wilde during his imprisonment in Reading Gaol, to "Bosie" (Lord Alfred Douglas).

In its first half Wilde recounts their previous relationship and extravagant lifestyle which eventually led to Wilde's conviction and imprisonment for gross indecency. He indicts both Lord Alfred's vanity and his own weakness in acceding to those wishes. In the second half, Wilde charts his spiritual development in prison and identification with Jesus Christ, whom he characterizes as a romantic, individualist artist.

Wilde wrote the letter between January and March 1897, close to the end of his imprisonment.

Contact had lapsed between Douglas and Wilde and the latter had suffered from his close supervision, physical labour, and emotional isolation. Nelson, the new prison governor, thought that writing might be more cathartic than prison labour. He was not allowed to send the long letter which he was allowed to write "for medicinal purposes"; each page was taken away when completed, and only at the end could he read it over and make revisions.

Nelson gave the long letter to him on his release on 18 May 1897.

How often do you live with regret?

#OscarWilde #regret #prison #selfdetermination

This site was designed with the
.com
website builder. Create your website today.
Start Now