The Moving Finger

Page from an illuminated manuscript of the Rub...

Today’s Daily Prompt suggests “Go back to a blog post you always thought could be better, or were unsatisfied with — now, fix it.”

I tried, I really did. I looked back over thirty posts to this blog and had a go at editing three of them but ended up feeling that my edits and rewrites were no real improvement.

As it says in “The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam”

The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, 
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit 
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line, 
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

What, Tony? What are you on about? Well as I looked at those blog posts I realised I certainly could rewrite one or two of them, make them “better” but to me that would feel dishonest. I am no longer the person that wrote those posts, the person that felt they were a good enough expression of his thoughts that they could be published here.

Of course Omar Khayyam meant more than the literal in his quatrain, his moving finger is fate itself. We cannot stop it or change it and having felt its influence we cannot go back and change what has happened.

Life, through the travails and treasures of fate and in part my own free will, has written changes upon me and so the man that writes these words is not the man that wrote my previous posts. There are many places in my life I might wish to edit or rewrite so that they turned out differently but we cannot “lure it back to cancel half a line”.

So be content with what you have written, be it words in a blog post or what you have written upon the world. Don’t regret or seek to change now that having writ fate and life have moved on.

7 thoughts on “The Moving Finger

  1. Pingback: Daily Prompt: Do-over! | My Atheist Blog

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  3. This is an interesting way to look at rewrites. I suppose publishers will be upset with incorrect tyops and mispelled words that haven’t been picked up. I think I will adopt your policy. After all, I am not the person I was yesterday. It’s been a pleasure reading your post.

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  5. Tony people grow and are affected by their life experiences (if that’s what you’re saying I agree), so the way that they think or act changes. I admit since blogging I often find myself thinking near enough is good enough, but I do know that a writer should never be content with what he or she has written. (For example,I’ve re-written this response several times.) I’ve been known to click send to a publisher and wish I could take it back. By then it’s too late, they make their own changes and it’s out of your hands). I think what you are saying is that you’ve looked at your article(s) and seen that you have moved beyond them and therefore it’s not possible to edit them. But they can, if you think they are worthwhile, be re-written to suit the place you find yourself in now. 🙂

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