Happy New Year! Maybe it’s just a man-made calendar system we’re looking at, but why not turn the page and think, yes, this is the year that will be the best year ever? No regrets!
In an interesting tale, Jude and I were at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens in Nashville over the holidays, looking at Christmas trees and doing Christmassy things. Afterwards, we took a diversion to check out an art exhibit in the mansion, a series of interactive art pieces called “More Love”. We can all use more love, and this was expressed in a collection of exhibits by thought-provoking artists from around the world (including the yoko). One individual had a project whereby he put out calls for regrets from all the world and as folks responded, they became part of the data base. So, you hit a button and a map comes up and there is the person’s regret, whether it’s from Iceland, California, Africa. I noticed most were relationship focused regrets, stories of meeting people they wished they’d made a play for, or leaving people they wished they had stayed with.
Jude asked me what my biggest regret was. Answering was difficult for me. I don’t know if it’s because of my capacity to selectively forget my worst moments or some inner compass I have that manages to perpetually steer me forward. Ironically, I’m a bit of a saver, but I never look at what I save, I just always figured my son might appreciate it…someday. Maybe that says something. At any rate, I thought about his question for awhile and then I said, “Well, I don’t have any, Jude. I can think of lots of mistakes I’ve made, but at the same time, it’s impossible for me to say the choice was ‘wrong’ at the time, because for one, I didn’t know any better, and looking back, maybe it was exactly ‘right’ in terms of getting me to where I needed to be.” In other words, much of life is down to us taking the ball and running with what happens.
Jude thought about that awhile and joked, “I’m going to put in that I should’ve had the donut instead of the cookie.”
We also went off to another part of the exhibit where a series of slogans were displayed on the wall, round lights with phrases that invited the viewer to ponder and respond. In a tray at the base of the exhibit, there were pins that matched the slogans. We were to choose and take one with us. This took awhile, because there were many interesting messages, with shades of the abstract and concrete. Having us think about these words and what we value, was clearly part of the artist’s intent. After sifting through some abstract ideas, I chose a button that appeared made for me: “pray for me to be the father I can be.” Jude chose one that was, for me, a runner up- it said “colorful forgiveness dream.” He wore the button for a couple days and put it in a prominent place in his room. Mine sits in my home office…and my heart.
So, on that note, hope your 2014 is the best year ever, wonderful, without regrets, full of answered prayers, colors, forgiveness, and dreams.
Doug (and Jude)