Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Water Under The Bridge

"Closure is the worst term in our culture. I don't think there's such a thing as closure. Closure is a human fantasy. We live with what happens to us and we do something with it." ~~Linda Carroll

I've been thinking about that expression "It's water under the bridge." I've always thought of it as a reminder that we are helpless to change the past and as advice not to let our pasts affect us in the present. That view overlooks the transformative power of water--the ability of water to radically and permanently alter the landscape it passes over, around, under, through.

It's water under the bridge, yes, but each ounce that flows there chips away grains of sand on the bank, rubs the pebbles a little smoother, leaves behind minerals it's carried from upstream.

There's a fine line between surveying the new landscape wrought by all that water under the bridge--learning the lay of the land to better understand where you are, how you got there, and where you might be headed in the future--and mourning the land before the water rushed by. Surveying, taking stock is a constructive activity with the potentially healthy outcome of a stronger sense of self. Mourning the disappeared past, dwelling on the damage done is an obsessive exercise in masochism.

Guess which one I'm better at?