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.
from Love Letters to Ghosts