Friday, 11 March 2011

Bitter Sweet

I have been reading on in Augustine's "Confessions". There are many times in life when contrasting perspectives come into play. Happiness and sadness sometimes need to go together. So do valleys and mountains. Augustine reminds us of how bitterness and sweetness can be usefully mingled. The reference is to reflecting on wrong things he has done - "The memory is bitter, but it will help me to savour your sweetness, the sweetness that does not deceive but brings real joy and never fails. For love of your love I shall retrieve myself from the havoc of disruption which tore me to pieces when I turned away from you, whom alone I should have sought, and lost myself instead on many a different quest." (Book 2 Section 1) Augustine doesn't hold back as he goes on to say - "In your eyes my beauty vanished and I was foul to the core, yet I was pleased with my own condition and anxious to be pleasing in the eyes of men (sic)." Are we working in a way that will give us bitter memories - or will they be sweet?

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