Our Town: No need to lament on summer regrets

Dr Tom Ferraro

End of summer regrets in Williston Park.

“Regrets, I have a few, but then again too few to mention”  Frank Sinatra from the song  “I did it my way”

Fall is coming to Williston Park and as the summer ends regrets are to be felt. Many of my patients, in fact all of my patients will mourn the loss of yet another summer. They will ruminate about the things that were not done and places that were not seen. 

So let this column be an elegy to the summer that leaves us. Let’s call it Regrets after the recent piece by Jasper Johns now on display at MOMA.

I have my own regrets. I regret I did not get to interview Nancy Breitbarth, one of Long Island’s great chiropractors and have yet to interview Dr. Susan Welgrin,  our steadfast, competent  and always there physician on Willis Avenue. And oh yes there is La Parma with the unbelievable Steak Piazzaiola which I did not  review. 

But by far my biggest regret of the summer is seen in the photo you see above. I took that shot late one night as I walked up the street along the Seine in search of a cab. 

I had just gotten off of the Bateau Mouche and was hurrying along the street in search of a cab.  I could see the Eiffel Tower up the hill to the left and thought to myself how nice it would be to proceed up and linger at the base of it to take in its beauty.  

But at that decisive moment a cab appears coming down the street toward us and I had to make a decision, the wrong decision. Do I take the cab and miss out on seeing the Eiffel Tower or do I let the cab go, spend some time at the Eiffel Tower and risk not getting another cab back to the Grand Hotel.  

Well in fact we grabbed the cab, I watched the Eiffel Tower recede into the background and since then as I think about my week in Paris I think of that missed opportunity rather than of my memories of Notre Dame,  the Louvre, the Seine and the Champs-Elysses. I think it may be human nature to feel the pain of loss rather than the joy of gain. 

It works the same way in golf. We ruminate on the missed putt rather than the big drive we just hit. This is not the best way to live.  

But I think this is the way most of us spend our life. Just think of Jaspers Johns, the world’s greatest living painter  who just spend the last year painting a dark painting called “Regrets”.  

The lesson learned is seen within the photo above.  One must try to take in the goodness despite all the flaws of life. In the photo you can see those leaves that get in the way and furthermore you cannot see either the top of the tower or its bottom. 

But if you look you do see the amazing beauty of the lattice-like iron work and how the lights make it look like a gigantic gold statue.  

The moral of this elegy on the end of summer is that what we see, what we have and what we do is usually good enough and actually quite beautiful if only you have the wisdom to look at the goodness and not at the flaws. Tough to do but certainly worth a try. 

About the author

Dr Tom Ferraro

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