Tuesday, May 3, 2016


The courageous dare to remember - 
but the cowards prefer to forget.

I wrote that sentiment when I was only in my teens, but I like it and still endorse it. The older I get (not that I'm old, mind you) the more I think about my past and the more I cherish it.

I don't dwell permanently in the past, and I don't yearn for an idyllic past that never really existed. I certainly don't discount the present. I prefer not to think much of the future, but when I do I view it with cautious respect. And trepidation.

I marvel at my past - for the mere fact that I actually survived it. I admittedly lament the past for all the regrets that I cannot change. I savor the past for the preciousness of youth, health, optimism, and the false but wonderful sense of invincibility. 

Make the most of today! Live for the future! Forget about the past!

That's what I'm advised to do.

The present is fleeting. The future is uncertain. In essence - whether you want to believe it or not - the past is all we really have. I have always strongly felt that the past is the foundation of everything we are today. To deny it, expunge it, or ignore it is to discount ourselves.

I am by no means a philosopher or an intellect. These are merely passing thoughts on a rainy night. The cats are sleeping. I've had a strong cup of Earl Grey tea. The caffeine is kicking in at 4:00 am. I write my thoughts down simply to expel them from my jumbled mind.....making room for more.

I enjoy writing about my past in this blog, partly because it's cathartic - partly because it's a refreshing change from my present mundane existence.
To be brash and brutally honest (with perhaps a tinge of conceit), I think my past has been unusual, colorful, and.....sometimes extremely interesting. Perhaps more interesting to me than to others?

I tend to write mostly about the good things.

There is also an enormous amount of darkness in my past: mental anguish, self-destructiveness, chaos, profound insecurity, self-hatred, an insatiable quest for validation and love, curiously mingled with a potent desire to expunge the pain of my existence.

Does that make sense? I didn't think so. I'm often confounded by my complications.

As if this wasn't enough crap for one night, I'll end with a poem. Does it need explanation? Hell, I'm no expert in explaining my thoughts.

Perhaps the poem depicts a fleeting attempt to remember the halcyon mists of childhood, only to have the raw ugly reality of the memories crumble in your hands - like crumbs that the crows pick.
Who really knows?


I long for the sweet distance
of an ancient promise
that was once whispered in my childhood prayers.

In youth it means nothing.
It is cast aside like so many pits and bones
on the empty plate of a golden king's feast.

Today it returns
as the desperation of a last hope.
In the pangs of an enormous hunger
I scramble to gather the strewn scraps
of what I once remembered
as an unattainable truth

but they crumble in my hands, fall to the ground,
scatter across the parched sin of earth.
They are quickly devoured by ravenous birds
that seem to have descended from heaven.

Jon V.
from Love Letters to Ghosts




  1. “Though nothing can bring back the hour
    Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;
    We will grieve not, rather find
    Strength in what remains behind..."

    - William Wordsworth

    P.S. Splendor in the Grass is an awesome movie. Oh, and I love your poetry.

    1. I had nearly forgotten about those wonderful lines from Wordsworth's "Intimations of Immortality" - thanks for resurrecting it!
      I haven't seen "Splendor in the Grass" in a very long time, but I remember it as being a really powerful film.

      (I knew you'd appreciate my poetic efforts - thanks!)

  2. Have you ever checked on eBay to see if your stuff is for sale?

    1. No, I haven't (maybe I should....)
      I honestly think it was lost (misplaced) and not stolen. There were numerous transfers to other vans en route and all the unlabeled boxes could have very easily been misplaced.

      My biggest fear is that my very private journals are being read by strangers. Or were tossed in the trash. Whatever happened, I'll never recover from it.

  3. I'm glad you decided to write this, Jon.
    This is YOUR blog and your stories, yes ... but paragraphs #2, #3 and #4 may well have come from my own mouth. (Except I cannot write nearly as exquisitely as you.)

    Honor our foundations? You bet-cha.

    1. I actually know some people who claim that they never think about the past. I can't figure out whether they're lying, crazy, or just plain heartless. It is a complete impossibility to sever ourselves from our past. And I staunchly believe that the past is the foundation of our entire existence. There is no logical way to separate ourselves from it.

      As a staunch sentimentalist, perhaps my mode of thinking is different from others. I'm artistic and a romanticist - which, in many ways, is a curse. But I view my past with rationality and logic. I have more regrets than I would ever care to admit. Much of my past was turbulent and unhappy. But I treasure all the good things, the golden memories, and I value my history.

      As usual, I've said too much. I'm glad that you can identify with my point of view, Myra, and I appreciate your input.

  4. I would never want to go back, either, but I really had a wild ride for decades. I prefer the peace and calm of today, though. But looking back--I wouldn't want any of it to be any different from the horror to the anguish to the ecstasy. Love your poem. :)

    1. I cherish my memories, but I agree that I wouldn't want to go back and live it all again. Just thinking about all the crap I went through is totally exhausting! But the suffering and anguish made me stronger and, I think (hope)also made me more compassionate. Those of us who have gone to the depths of hell and survived are better for it.
      I'm glad you liked the poem!

  5. Very interesting post. I don't care what you say about you thinking your posts are boring, they're not. I'm guilty of living in the past too. But I love my past and wouldn't change a thing, I don't think. Like the present. Never think of the future. You can come to my bedside anytime and read me your poetry.

    1. I tend to shy away from reading my poetry - - but I can definitely make exceptions.
      I don't like to think about the future, either. I have enough worries as it is.

  6. Louis DeBroglie: “In spacetime, everything which for us constitutes the past, present, and the future is given en bloc." I tend to take the physicist's view that mind and matter are just two ways of organizing events. In a universe, in which all possibilities are assembled, nothing is lost. After all, where would it go?

  7. A unique theory, but I think an extremely plausible one and - most likely - the only one. It makes perfect sense to me - even though I am completely clueless when it comes to physicists and the quantum theory.

    Everybody on my mother's side of the family had brilliant scientific minds. I was cursed with an artistic soul (and I'm not being sarcastic - in many ways it is a curse).

  8. You hit a raw nerve with me tonight. Trepidation is the path to the future. I so can relate. Validation has been my quest for as long as I can remember. I understand why you write to expel your thoughts. And it's true that the past is all we really have that solidifies our existence.

    1. You and I are definitely on the same wave length, and it's a good feeling. Writing is one of my greatest emotional outlets. It's an addiction. Many thanks for your input.

  9. Jon,

    I don't know. You'r right, the future is uncertain and may never be. But the past is past and frozen in time, photographs and memories and any notes we jotted along the way. It is often bent and distorted, too, and some forgotten, willingly and unwillingly. I write of the past because it is what I know. And as you say, the present is fleeting, so it is quickly the past, too. Anyway, I want to read more of your life because I admit, I'm nosy that way. I may be antisocial, though, because I am still thinking about whom I would invite to a dinner party.



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