Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

In Alexander Pope’s epic poem, Eloise to Abelard, Eloise retreats to a convent longing to forget her love for Abelard.

How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind!
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d;

We rush to forget, regret, patch, and protect ourselves from these familiar haunts. Instead, what if we weren’t frightened of the mess we’ve made of our narratives, and instead embraced each step of the journey? After all, each experience has created the careful composite of who we are today.

Photo: Morning Dawn at God’s Acre
(Old Salem, North Carolina)
Photo Credit: Brian Leon,
Used with permission

© 2008 J. Dana Trent

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