“Non, je ne regrette rien,” sings Edith
in her most perfect, grainy rendition.
According to the apocryphal story,
Charles Dumont and Michel Vaucaire
have only one nervous chance to audition
the new composition for her in 1959;
but halfway through she bursts out,
“Formidable! this is the song I
have been waiting for!” How I wish
I had that supreme self-confidence,
that capacity to cleave through the moment
and let it take me whole in its arms…
And she’s right, some things will now
never change: we don’t have a choice.
The good things and the bad that were done
to me may as well be the same. I can’t spend
any more of the present wondering if I should
have gone down a different path, or what
old things will surface in the crowded
cellars of the future. Like the sparrow,
I should welcome what comes out of my throat:
tend the notes the same as crumbs on the path.