We all make them. Errors. And we don’t just make them as children, advancing through the grades. No, living is not merely an existential endeavour through a clunky deliverance of curriculum, but rather is an intuitive and implicit journey along the quest given by open-ended questions. As such, to err, indeed, is human.
It is guilt that can erode the psyche. After all, who am I to pretend to this or that when I know of my previous indiscretions, betrayals, falsehoods, lies, thefts, and even killings? After all, is a silvered book-fish not as valued a life as a bitty fly? Is a wretched mouse not as valuable as a cat? And does not my own usurping of another’s argument continue my vainglorious path of pretense, until I am more ‘whole’? No; one is now whole, as one is, now. All the fragments and fractions and fractals of one’s days amount to The Now, individually, collectively. We carry guilt with us, at best, but as a reminder not again to delve unheedful into the possible.
Repetition assails us. The possible becomes probable by dint of our own efforts, despite the vagaries of chance and circumstance. Simplicity can elude us. And connotation can confound us. Why can’t things be simple? Yet we discover the ascension of grades to be a series of similar bricks of concepts, made at times (even by ourselves) more complex by our climbing the ladder of natural ascension; baby to child, teenager to adult; adult to dotage; dotage to death. We accrete quite readily in our acquisition, our knowledge, and our experience. And as we age we can more easily let go of the trappings of youth. A sense of “been there, done that,” can settle one into the comfy chair. And as one’s wants and needs shrink, so too can we let go of our mansion, and clear the clutter, and reduce our footprint to that of a small apartment, (if not the necessity of succumbing to a nursing home.) At risk, always, is the shrinking of the mind. At risk, always, is the shriveling of the soul, such that we can become embittered, curmudgeonly, and sad. The denotation of the lessons of life can become a pile of unyielding bricks, built like a wall around (if not within) us, and we no longer may be interested in the potential, the possible, the probable, but instead may arm ourselves for death; some railing against it; some inviting it in; some so self-assured about the surcease of their physical vessel, yet reassured by the sense of an ongoing coagulation of their individual soul to meet in heaven those who’ve gone before.
We make mistakes. Our lives may well start as a tabla rasa, but quickly become a palimpsest upon which our deeds are written, and rewritten, our ‘doings’ repeated in ever larger cycles as the years go by. Once we were but the proverbial “brick and a tickey high,” (“knee-high to a grasshopper,”) but suffice to say that the errors of our ways, and those errors in our way, and the way itself was not always of our own choosing. At issue is what we do with it all. And doing, hereby, is promulgated as an instant activity, instant for instant. One grows toward peace, or not. And peace, as we know, is very much about an individual acquiescence (different from a dreaded ‘succumbing’) to the need to integrate everything ‘as it is,’ while still doing whatever one can to advance the inch-worm-like collective progress of The Bell Curve, in deeds, indeed.
Dense and turgid thinking can give way to enlightenment. One can see the forest from above the trees, yes, but to be within it and have a whole sense of it simultaneously, now there’s the thing! We do tend to immerse ourselves in the details. Yet, after all, one can only go halfway into the forest before one is headed on the pathway, leading halfway out, ha! (And given that there are only 26 letters in the English alphabet, is it not astounding that we nowadays have over a million words with which to play; concepts to lead us straight; concepts to lead us astray.)
Errors are most easily overcome if they be non-intentional. Some errors are silly, foolish, immature, and careless. Some are born of laziness. Many are as a result of one being ignorant in the moment. Many are spawned from impulsivity. Most are regretted. (Sorry.) Regrettably, very many are repeated. Over, and over. Elementary errors indeed. In thought, and deeds.