Although some may criticise Sara Teasdale's poetry as being relatively unsophisticated, I find it emotionally evocative and poignant. Take her 'Let It Be Forgotten' poem: it may well be short, but as with all good poetry, it makes one stand back for a second, and to think...........
Let it be forgotten, as a flower is forgotten,
Forgotten as a fire that once was singing gold,
Let it be forgotten for ever and ever,
Time is a kind friend, he will make us old.
If anyone asks, say it was forgotten
Long and long ago,
As a flower, as a fire, as a hushed footfall
In a long forgotten snow.
I often wrestle with the realities of 'letting go', reflecting on the pain of letting someone or something go their own way. Acknowledging the welter of emotions, and indeed the intrinsic desire to hold on, at any cost, is the first step.
Then there is the actual process of letting go. I sometimes encourage clients to imagine those emotions, in their minds eye, written on a piece of paper, plucked out of the air and placed in a slow flowing river. Watching those words and associated emotions drift away can be a powerful experience.
But what about forgetting? We can be beholden to images and experience of the past, the things that coalesce as memories - of laughter, but also of hurt; the memory of being misunderstood, or judged, make a seemingly indelible mark.
Yet, despite the power of the past, with therapy, we may become increasingly cognisant of the fact that our lives are not all about looking back, but about living in the present with an eye to the future.
There is meaning in the moment, a meaning that helps us to see more clearly, allowing us to appreciate what we do have, and building on that.
Psychologically, forgetting is problematic, and it may indeed be impossible. We can do however, is to take that painful experience and shape it to our benefit; by re-engaging with it, and seeing it retrospectively, we can embrace what it has taught us.
Of course, none of this is easy, but it is nonetheless essential if we are to understand life in general, and our own journey in particular.