Saturday, June 26, 2010
Thief of Time
"Nostalgia is a fantasy."
Those are the words Fr. Michael said to me after I told him it was difficult for me to go to church alone these days when all I could do when sitting in the pew was remember the time my children were sitting at both my sides and on my lap.
I couldn't let go of them. I clung. I indulged myself in the clinging.
My children are grown and on their own and a part of me is still secretly concocting snacks for Friday night movie night, and cuddling them in bed when they were ill, and yelling for them to hurry along and get dressed or we would be late for church.
"You need to create new moments for yourself." Fr. Michael continued.
New moments. I thought I was already doing that. I have a busy, creative and fulfilling life. I have new friends. I am experiencing new things. And yet, as if time had overlapped; I saw that I still have one foot in the past while I attempt to navigate into the future.
I am being torn apart . . . in two . . . with the messiness of the split falling like polluted rain upon the present.
My memories are taking up space in and around me, like cluttered shelves of tiny collectables, trying to collect their own dust, unsuccessfully, under the constant attention of my white glove.
My remembering is requiring so much of my energy and time that I feel I may be running out of both.
Nostalgia is creating an aching in my soul - a yearning for things I have already experienced. It has me missing things I already have . . . and missing things I may never know - like this moment.
It is thief, stealing time and energy from me.
The past is crippling me. And I want to fly.
"You must forget your past - your personal history," a wise warrior once said.
But what would I be without my past? Who am I without my history? If I don't look back, what will happen to my story?
The moon was full, and my body cast a long thin shadow across the damp blades of grass that kept the narrow stone path a secret. I walked the labyrinth-like maze under her glow like I had walked the temple of Delphi under the sun. And, when I found my way out, I looked up to the heavenly sky - but the moon was gone. It had been taken by a thick blanket of clouds. Every bit of her light had diminished from sight.
Yet, I knew she was still there. And even if I never looked up again, she would always be there, in the distant sky, not dependent upon my eyes at all.