Nor guilt nor grief
Shall torment me
When in the ground
For I have been
A falling leaf
Blown who knows where
(c) Billy Dunphy
I wrote this years ago. When, where or why I don’t know or remember.
While I know we are each ultimately responsible for our decisions and actions, I also firmly believe that we are shaped by outside influences, some of which are obvious, others hidden in the shadows and dark places.
I don’t remember if any particular incident sparked the writing of this but looking at it now I know that people, powers and circumstances all conspire in and affect the shaping of each of our lives. Look at the world and what’s happening to millions upon millions of innocent people.Look how countless numbers are driven into awful circumstances. Old , young, sick, healthy, able-bodied, disabled … all at the mercy of fate and savagery.
In the writing of the poem I was of course only thinking of myself and my life at that point. I’ve always felt guilty and full of regret. Sad really , but that seems to be part of my makeup. Some of it justified, but mostly not. It seems to be the same with everyone to a greater or lesser extent. Part of the human condition perhaps and added to by Catholic guilt for those of us unfortunate enough to have been shaped by that particular church.
Oh man, I sat for ages trying to write and now I feel I could write all night. Not this night though.