Regret

Hello readers, its Brother Burrito here (“yet again”, I hear you groan).

I beg your indulgence, and especially that of my blog colleagues, because my health has taken a down-turn recently, and this has made me a little self-observant. In the past I have often written from experience because that is all I have to write from. I don’t think anyone could see my life as noteworthy or exciting (except my mother, perhaps), but I intuit that many people feel the same way about their own lives, and so I instantly find myself in solidarity with them, in my mediocrity.

I wasn’t a rebellious teenager, at all. In fact my mum asked me once why I was so dang docile. I didn’t know the answer because I did not know what docile meant. I messed up at school for sure, but learned from my mistakes and succeeded academically before I left. I just learned nothing about teenage angst and confusion and turmoil and loneliness while I was a teenager. This was a very poor preparation for adult life. I entered the proving oven of university and beyond with barely any leavening in me. Like a sour-dough, we are meant to be leavened by the wild yeasts that enter the brew unintentionally. My upbringing had been too clean

Short-cuts always make for long delays. I finally came a-cropper in my late twenties when I suddenly found myself bereft of all the people and things I had become dependent on. My romance had gone south and my friends had deserted me because they thought I had gone weird, but the hardest part was when my Psion Organiser 2, which held all my contacts, died without warning, just when I needed it most. Why hadn’t I just written stuff down on paper? Geek-pride, I suppose. I was up the creek without a paddle.

It took a lot of digging to get me out of that pothole in my life, and this taught me a lot about soul survival. I was then living in a hospital room, and owned no property. Existence was very day to day. In my loneliness I hooked up with a nurse I worked with who was in similar straits. It didn’t last long, and just left us both feeling worse than before we’d met. Emergency romance is never a good idea.

I came upon this song by New Order called “Regret”. The tune is melodic to my ears, and the lyrics resonate with my experiences of that time closely enough. The closing septuplet is particularly resonant:

I would like a place I could call my own
Have a conversation on the telephone
Wake up every day that would be a start
I would not complain about my wounded heart

Just wait till tomorrow
I guess that’s what they all say
Just before they fall apart.

PS: My concentration and memory are so poor at the moment that I can hardly read a paragraph of text without losing the thread. I have been consuming music videos instead. The music helps my train of thought. I can only compose articles by making up the sentences as I go along, and then regularly proof reading it. Perhaps Toad can confirm that’s how the professionals do it? God bless!

About Brother Burrito

A sinner who hopes in God's Mercy, and who cannot stop smiling since realizing that Christ IS the Way , the Truth and the Life. Alleluia!
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19 Responses to Regret

  1. Robert says:

    We live in a time of personal isolation. This is what the mob phones and tv and in general the media does it. So we become trapped in Self introspection and this Self is your enemy.
    Instead gentle pray the Rosary, make the Way of The Cross. The intention is to concentrate on the vocal prayers and whom these are addressed to. Let your love flow into your vocal prayers and God will become the centre of your Life and self will be displaced.

  2. toadspittle says:

    “I can only compose articles by making up the sentences as I go along, and then regularly proof reading it. Perhaps Toad can confirm that’s how the professionals do it? “
    For myself, I get an idea for a piece, sketch it out in my mind, write it down on paper, then screw the paper in a ball, and throw it into the bin. Then start again. Until I get it right… Which is never.

    However, I do believe regrets are futile. So I stopped having them years ago.
    I can recommend that course of action, at least.
    Anyway, Bro. B. must clearly go on the prayers and candles list. Toot sweet.

    “So we become trapped in Self introspection and this Self is your enemy.”
    On the other hand, the unexamined life is not worth living. Or so they say.

  3. Happy that you’re writing again! Life is a hard road, but it will turn out right as long as we try to follow the will of God to the best of our ability.

  4. johnhenrycn says:

    Brother Burrito, just about everything you’ve contributed to this blog over the years has touched my heart (excepting only your music videos, but you are 20 or so years younger than me) especially the snippets you allow us of your personal and family life. I regret that I’m unable to be as generous and as open as you; but you’re Irish and I’m Finnish (well, except for a touch of Anglo-Irish on the wrong side of the bedsheets which I’ve mentioned before, but which doesn’t signify as a personal revelation because I had nothing to do with my conception) and never the twain shall meet – unless perhaps someday in the Åland Islands? 🙂

    I’m thinking of offering a Mass intention for your late friend, Psion Organiser 2. Even though he and I were never close, I’m sure he must have been very special, seeing as you hold him in such high regard. Personally, I hold you in such high regard that I don’t rely on fair weather friends like PO2 to preserve your letters to me. I’m looking right now at two e-mails I received from you that I took care to print – the first from Yoda the Jedi sent at 21:00 on 08 Feb 12, which you signed as Yoda/Burrito/Terry Tubby/MM/Doctor Who 2 (as if I was unaware of the connection) and the second from you in your present incarnation sent at 05:21 on 16 Sep 13. Not that either e-mail was particularly exciting, but I wished to preserve on paper a connection to a person for whom I’ve got a great deal of affection and respect. A verbatim transcript is available on request.

    Next weekend, I’m going on a road trip with a Jewish friend to the Berkshires in Massachusetts (our main connection is our respectful religious differences that we delight in discussing) which makes me think of how neat it would be one day to see all the Catholic friends I have made at CP&S.

    God love you all.

  5. Brother Burrito says:

    Dear JH,

    You are a very good guy yourself, and I have always enjoyed our online interactions.

    Before we ever meet in person I will have to get a passport, and the time too. I am a bit of a slave to my circumstances you see…..

    If all else fails, we shall meet in eternity, on the right side of the border, unless all else fails😉

    I shall be in touch by email. For some reason I always picture you as looking and being like Saul Goodman (look it up!)

    BB

  6. Brother Burrito says:

    Thank you man,

    I am only writing here because the regular stalwarts are taking some rest. They needed a fill-in for a short time. I was happy to oblige

    I am not a pure and simple Catholic, you see, but I aspire to be one-they’re the best kind. Not all ambition or desire is evil, is it.

    I sense you are very like me. I am very glad of your acquaintance. God bless.

  7. johnhenrycn says:

    “Saul Goodman”:
    He was such an excellent character actor in that BB series! I won several (er, two) drama awards in my younger days, and went to university intending to be a professional actor, but quit after first year because most others in the course seemed rather gay, and I didn’t want to spend my life mixing with them, even though they were all very nice. So I became a lawyer instead. I don’t look at all like Goodman. But my father was almost the spitting image of Auden.

    I’m headed in the same direction, for better or worse.

  8. johnhenrycn says:

    Thank you (in advance) Toad…yes, I am aware of Auden’s sexual preferences. But here’s an interesting report in my local newspaper today:
    http://www.therecord.com/news-story/6565413-st-mary-s-student-blazes-through-math-makeup-and-bullying/
    Almost makes a person (like you) think homosexuality is not objectively disordered, what?

  9. Crow says:

    Dear Brother Burrito,
    I am sorry that you are not well – but always remember that the dark nights are the ones that shape us – that make us into the people we can be. Sometimes they are a path for your soul. I get the impression that you give a lot of yourself to other people. Maybe God is telling you to spend some time with yourself – to be so selfish that you reach inside yourself and find that person within. Not many of us achieve great things in the eyes of the world – but to do your actions and thoughts well is a pretty good achievement in life. I have surmised that you have spent your working life in health care and perhaps that is a vocation for you. You have probably sacrificed those aspects of life that more self-centred people such as I demand from life. It is obvious that you have humility, and this is a quality which will allow you to be receptive to God’s spirit. However, recognise those aspects of yourself that are unique and special – living in an emergency room implies that you were pretty dedicated to a life of helping others. I love your posts too. I agree with Toad- don’t regret. Robert’s advice to pray the Rosary is good advice – the Rosary really helped me. I pray it every day. I will pray for your good health.

  10. toadspittle says:

    Thank you JH. Nice, near brilliant, young man.
    Clearly far nearer to The Image of God than Toad, (who is ugly) for a start.
    If, as some aver, “God hates fags,” He certainly created a substantial number of them. Have to wonder why, don’t we?
    Re: Auden (whose ancestors came from Iceland, as you know) – this poem from the 30’s has a certain relevance these days. Or so it seems to me.

    Say this city has ten million souls,
    Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
    Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.

    Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
    Look in the atlas and you’ll find it there:
    We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

    In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
    Every spring it blossoms anew:
    Old passports can’t do that, my dear, old passports can’t do that.

    The consul banged the table and said,
    “If you’ve got no passport you’re officially dead”:
    But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

    Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
    Asked me politely to return next year:
    But where shall we go to-day, my dear, but where shall we go to-day?

    Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said;
    “If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread”:
    He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.

    Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
    It was Hitler over Europe, saying, “They must die”:
    O we were in his mind, my dear, O we were in his mind.

    Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
    Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
    But they weren’t German Jews, my dear, but they weren’t German Jews.

    Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
    Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
    Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.

    Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
    They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
    They weren’t the human race, my dear, they weren’t the human race.

    Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
    A thousand windows and a thousand doors:
    Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.

    Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
    Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
    Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.

  11. Tom Fisher says:

    I try not to comment much anymore, but it can’t hurt to share another poem by Auden.

    He reads it well himself:

    Text version:

    https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/i-walked-out-one-evening

  12. toadspittle says:

    I regret you don’t comment more often, Mister Fisher.

  13. johnhenrycn says:

    Likewise (Toad 15:19) although I’m pulling away too, not just from this my dearest blog, but from web surfing in general. There are too, too many books I still have to read (amongst other important ambitions) and time is getting short I fear. Still, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with everyone here, and I must admit to being a (somewhat) better person for having done.

  14. GC says:

    Dear johnhenry and Mr Tom Fisher, abandon us not.

    Do pop in at least once a week or so, more if possible. Give us your promise. We shall miss you dreadfully otherwise.

    Likewise our dear Brother Burrito, one of our holy founders and foundresses. How very very good to see you again and read your physico-medico-spritchell meditations once again, as also your reflections on songs and your reminiscences.

    If any one knows where Michael Kenny could be, please relay to him a similar message. He told us he would be absent for a while, I think, just before Easter. But it’s after Trinity already!

  15. johnhenrycn says:

    I promise to pop in once per month – not necessarily to comment – more to read the thoughts of people who I admire.
    ___
    Toad (06:54) – very moving. 30s, not 30’s.

  16. johnhenrycn says:

    …I guess, as Simon Peter asks (Jn. 6:68) – where else can I go, now that I’ve been carded by Church Militant for repeating my comment here (on your “venomous internet” post) that Fr Thomas Rosica is an idiot? They tell me that I can come back on Wednesday; but the great johnhenry does not accept indulgences from his inferiors.

  17. johnhenrycn says:

    Hang on! Church Militant is so weak and so embarrassed by their censorship of the great johnhenry that they have not only deleted all of my comments, but also all of their idiotic rebuttals, which is why my above link will leave you bemused.

    I think they’re mad at me – they’ve never admitted it – for mentioning that Michael Voris’s counterclockwise pencil twirling on the Vortex is actually a secret Masonic signal. My son-in-law is a Mason (lapsed) so I know what I’m talking about.

  18. johnhenrycn says:

    Happy Victoria Day. Three hours away, but fireworks in celebration of the vigil of VRI’s birthday have already started here. I sometimes forget – superciliousy ignore, if truth be told – that you people only associate Queen Victoria with a pub in Paddington at W2 2NH, but we take our semi-English heritage very seriously. Which reminds me of a quip by the D. of Devonshire around 1902, when some toady said to her that his Gr. Gr. Grandfather fell at Waterloo, and she replied: “Really? I thought he fell at Paddington.”

  19. toadspittle says:

    “Church Militant?” Sounds a bit too aggressive to Toad.
    Fie, turn the other cheek, JH – and stick with CP&S.
    No mealy-mouthed moderations (aka “censorship”) on here. Is there?

    (Many thanks for pointing out the aberrant apostrophe. I near die of shame.)

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