Rain – Raymond Carver

Would I live my life over again? / Make the same unforgiveable mistakes? That’s a hell of a question, isn’t it, brought up almost casually on a quiet, rainy day.

I think a lot about my mistakes. I think a lot of people do, really; I think in these times more than ever there’s an increasing record of every thought, every action, every embarrassing thing you did as a teenager. (I’m so glad there wasn’t as much social media when I was a teen—or that most of the ones I was on have passed from mainstay to artifact of the early web, and that my teen internet life was mostly pseudonymous.) Well, and like any person with even a bit of anxiety, I can’t help but try to recurse through conversations and situations I think I could have handled better. Would I make the same unforgiveable mistakes? And the answer is, God, I hope not.

This poem, though, illustrates a moment—it’s not even a particularly special moment, just at home, in bed reading, listening to the rain, and that feeling of—if it took all those mistakes to get me here, that’s fine. I’d do it again. I think I feel that, every now and then, and I feel like that more often than I did a few years ago.