It is strange how our feelings are often beyond our control. Naturally, we cannot help but feel angry when we are offended or see injustice; we cannot help but feel sadness when we are hurt, or the people around us are; we cannot help but feel joy when something goes right for us or for people we care for. I believe this is true for most of us – unless we put in great amounts of effort to suppress our emotions.
I am currently feeling somewhat sentimental. Being back in Durham has been great – I have managed to catch up with a few friends, but I am also aware that for a few people I said goodbye to three months ago, our paths may never cross. And at the back of my mind, there is that one person – that I am hoping beyond hope – I would not have to say a permanent goodbye come June next year.
My rational mind cannot convince my feelings to halt its descent into self-destructing infatuation. So in a light-hearted spirit of hopelessness, here’s a poem I would like to share about ‘the one that got away.’ This poem is written by W.B. Yeats. It is pretty straightforward, except for the identity of ‘Love’ and the ‘he’ in the final stanza.
But this is not an essay, it is an avenue to articulate the various threads of thoughts which entangle my mind. So here’s the poem:
When you are old and grey and full of sleep, And nodding by the fire, take down this book, And slowly read, and dream of the soft look Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;
How many loved your moments of glad grace, And loved your beauty with love false or true, But one man loved the pilgrim soul in you, And loved the sorrows of your changing face;
And bending down beside the glowing bars, Murmur, a little sadly, how Love fled And paced upon the mountains overhead And hid his face amid a crowd of stars.
What should I do now then? Definitely not wallow in the self-constructed prison of my feelings. I believe the gospel has power to save and redeem every part of us – including these emotions. I have not figured out how to deal with this issue, I readily admit I am lost. However, I am sure that I need not despair, I will trust in my saviour as he leads me day by day to face the evil without, and the darkness within.