I’m sat watching an Italian film with Kirsty and this phrase is mentioned in passing.
The film itself, The Great Beauty, is one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen in a while. In the first ten minutes there is a while lot of glorious Italian partying, some religious singing, a naked man painted red, and a woman, also naked, running and hurling herself at a wall for ‘art’ (the concept of what constitutes art still confuses me but that’s another blog for another day).
The film seems to embody the statement, that we should live for the here and now and not worry about the past.
It’s an idea that I can never quite work out if I agree with it or not.
Lying awake at night, recalling missed opportunities, loves lost, or things we wish we’d done differently. Ruminating in the negativity of the past.
Or the other end of the spectrum, living in the moment. Never caring for consequences or that which has come before. Simply doing as you feel and wish without a care in the world.
Can they exist singularly?
Yes I suppose is the answer. There are those who dwell, and there are those who never once look back, but I think we need a little of both in our lives.
We need to embrace our pasts, they’re what made us who we are today. We need to embrace all the mistakes we made and learn from them. Only by remembering that fire is hot and once burned us, do we avoid making the same mistake again. And not only that, but reminiscing, remembering what has been and gone can be wonderful.
All those memories of long summers spent on the beach, your first kiss, unforgettable family holidays, or the time the dog glued her mouth shut with weetabix.
Having said that, I think sometimes embracing the moment is important. We need to let go and experience moments without a care in the world. We need to make mistakes in the first place, try out new experiences and hang the consequences!
Where’s the fun in life if we spend every waking moment worrying that we will come to regret this decision in the future, or worrying about the opinion of every single person and how their opinion of you might alter.
If I spent my life worrying about how my actions today might leave a bitter taste, I’d probably never have any adventures. I’d never go swimming in the sea at midnight after a gig, or get tattooed. I’d never stay up too late reading a book, or spend an entire weekend procrastinating by going for walks in glorious scenery. I’d be too busy worrying that I might regret my delicious, and that regret might consume me.
Yes. I think for a happy life, we need a little of each. Some recalling of the past and some instant, singular moments free of any time but now. Perhaps though, reminiscing is the wrong word.
Instead we should be saying “up with life, down with regret”.