Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ruminations II

Thinking about what i wrote yesterday, I am reminded sharply of those people who say, "the past is the past, it isnt important now. I never look back." It could be that these are the people who keep repeating the same mistakes and wonder why. Or do something that puzzles them, never realizing it has roots maybe 30 or 40 years old.

If you never look back to see where you came from, and what propelled you forward, how do you know where you are now? Of course, there is a fine line between people who dwell there, like cave creatures, barricaded from all personal progress, those who refuse to look back at all, (perhaps afraid of what they might find lurking), and people who see what was, and try to understand what happened then that makes now what it is.

I don't necessarily subscribe to reincarnation, an afterlife, or heavenly hosts. Much of that is talking into the dark to comfort us on the long nights. How much easier to believe in heaven than it is to know we only have one very short life and darkness afterwards. That, my dears, is truly terrifying.

But also, feeling that we truly only have one shot at all of this, I think it behooves me to do the best I can, leave as few bad footprints as possible, and realize that you do touch people along the way. Even people you might meet only a few times who remember you. Or you them. If this is all we have, we need to tread lightly.

Part of that light tread, at least for me, is being able to understand if not forgive what came before. If I can figure out What Happened and Why, then i have a measure of insight into my own reactions and behaviors now. Granted, poetry and writing makes a lot of insight possible, it tells me things I never knew I knew. But still, there is always more that surfaces like bubbles in a swamp, surprising the hell out of me.

That's when I go back to the mental photo album, and eventually find the section that explains much if not all. Not that it will matter much in the long run (which is getting shorter year by year), but it matters now, and to me.


  1. Those are very deep thoughts Mittens. Of course we have to be able to look back, otherwise we would make the same mistakes over and over. Its ok to look back, but dont try to live there.

  2. thats just it. It can be very hard to talk with some people, simply because they refuse to accept the fact that what happened to them caused them to become, to a certain degree, what they are.

    Granted, we are born with most of our likes and dislikes attached, and they get modified as we grow. But major life events shape us, for good or ill. To deny that stuff is to deny yourself. and that is truly scary.

    It's also a way of holding you off, of refusing to admit--or discuss--anything about their childhood, a very brief dismissal that usually starts, 'well, that was then and this is now..." and you know the convo is over.