I am in the strangest space right now. It’s as if ribbons of memory and realities from times past are curling toward me and wrapping gently round me, pearly pastel colors gleaming, faces smiling as they drift by.
I absolutely do not feel anchored in the current reality. Looking around my home, I am puzzled. Where did these white walls, wooden bookcases, faded paintings of the California Missions come from? Why are those cats gazing out the window at the early spring Santa Barbara morn?
Balanced on a delicate fulcrum, I might plunge deeply into those ribbons from the past, the sadness, the people who have died, the things I have not done and the places I haven’t gone. And now surely I am too old to do those things and go to those places.
The world as it is right now does not welcome the imagination and eagerness of traveling. The outward reality we live in places a full stop upon our dreams and desires.
I wonder if there is some sort of acknowledgment, some peculiar obeisance, required by the past. If one must offer appeasement to settle those ghostly recollections, rich brown dirt to tamp over the coffins in the graves. Gentle rain that must fall to smooth the earth down.
How much of the past must I drop off? Must I shed memories and emotions like the wax off Icarus’s wings as he flew ever higher to the sun? And will the results be the same – wingless and hapless, will I hurtle back to earth, a fireball exploding on impact and scattering into embers, never to be reassembled?
Perhaps that’s not such a bad thing.
As the earth, we are told, rises ever higher in these invisible vibrations that we may feel but not see, will all that comprises our individual and collective histories be seared away? Will those memories be replaced by actual truths that have been kept from us, individually and collectively, truths that may shatter and scatter our minds if we are not prepared?
We have been told that there is really no way to prepare. Like almost everything else, we must take on trust and faith that we will survive the knowledge that is to come.
I shake off the reminiscing and the images of fireballs and falling. My knowledge of Greek mythology is as thin as a finely honed sword and like a sword can cut either way. Toward truth or false memory.
It may be that the time of truth is upon us. It may be that everything I think I remember, everything I think I know, will prove to be no more than misty tales told round a manufactured campfire. Even this moment right here, where I write, will spiral away into a past that wasn’t “real.”
Perhaps it is wrong of me to cling. But I do. I honor, I treasure, what I believe to be my own past. I suspect there will come a time when I pity this self that clings. If so, I ask that future self to look kindly, compassionately, upon my present being. It is all I know how to be at this moment and I refuse to denigrate or abjure it.
As Ashleigh Brilliant put it in one of his poignant “Potshots” cartoons: “I hope the person I’m becoming won’t forget how it felt to be the person I am.”