As we move forward in our lives, I have found that it is sometimes necessary to look back in order to maintain a proper perspective. If indeed, as I believe, our perception shapes our reality, then what we have remembered of our past is still at work in our day to day lives shaping our every move.
Let me explain.
I have existed in time and space for some 58 plus years. As I remember all those years today they seem to fit within an inch of space on the desk in front of me. Memories are like that—very tight and compressed. If we tried to make a movie of our lives, at the most it might take 3 hours to portray. Of course some things would be left out but you get the picture.
58 plus years equal 21,371 days that I have occupied some space in this reality we call the 20th and 21st century. More events have taken place during this time than can ever be remembered or written about. Kindergarten, 1st Grade, Ist love, first kiss, driver’s training, graduation, marriage, kids, job and vacations—just to name a few of the events that have taken place in our lives that mark our time on planet earth.
In my memory, they are only as wide as my head—eight to ten inches—but they all fit seemlessly in the cells and memory banks that make up my brain.
If you have made it this far—congratulatons.
The point that I am trying to make is this: is what I remember really true or have my memories been filtered through that elaborate system that makes me who I am.
Case in point: my father. Who was he and how did what he live through work its’ way into my life and form who I am. And is what I remember of him an accurate portrayal of the man or simply something I have made up over the years in order to make me feel better about myself.
Thinking about this I called his youngest brother the other night to check out some memories. I am sure that he was shocked to hear my voice on the other end of the line but he was very gracious to me in my moment of need. I haven’t talked with him for a couple of years but I felt a sense of urgency that can’t be fully explained at this time. And what I came away from our converstion was this: it really might be too late to get answers to the questions that seem to have arisen in my mind of late.
Who my dad was (he passed away several years ago) will not change any time soon in my memory—truth or not. What I am left with is what I have and I have mostly made peace with all of that. I was allowed the time to see him before he died from the cancer that was spreading rapidly through his body. I am ever grateful for that time. As far as I am concerned, we made our peace and came to the realization that we had both done our best in handling the situations that life presented us with.
Am I re-writting history—perhaps. Maybe we all are in some sort of 1984 time-warp and as time passes we update the files in our memory banks to fit where we need them to fit. Was life in my parents house as bad as I remember it or as good as I seem to think sometimes. Maybe somewhere in between. Does it really matter on a day to day basis? Perhaps not really that much. But these thoughts have occupied my mind for the past week or so and I thought it would be good to get them out and let them level things out a little bit.
It was overall, an excellent day and I hope yours was as well. Enjoy your ride.