Sunday, July 4, 2010

It reminds me of something

We hardly ever expect the quintessential events of our lives, those defining moments which forever change who we are. We make plans, we act on intentions, and we seek a bit of control.

But then something happens we never expected which shifts the course of our life towards a horizon of which we had never dreamt.

We find ourselves in a moment. We did not bring it about nor do we know how it will end. But we're stuck in that moment. All we can do, the only power we have, is to simply deal with it as best we can.

Life is something that happens to us, not something we produce, ourselves. And it's weird to realize that the entirety of one's existence is the result of acts and forces outside of one’s control.

Our only real choice, our only true option, is to simply orient ourselves in a particular direction and foolishly hope for the best. We maintain our little ideals and dreams for the future while we just kind of try to hope ourselves towards them as best we can.

Or not.

Sometimes you just have to wonder if there is any point in having a rudder to one's life. When you think about existence, when you consider the size of outer space, it becomes quite laughable to think that we can manage the hubris to try and be a determining force in what happens.

I'm not denying the feeling of choice. I'm simply asking what merit an individual's power of choice has when compared with everything else that exists.

So, something happens. We begin to remember. We realize that what we remember only exists in our memory, and those things for which those memories hope can never be.

We don't submit to nihilism, we don't lie down and die. We think, we are reminded, and then we realize a fairly basic truth of the memory: It is not good; it is not bad; It is simply how things were.

I realize that I cannot live in the past, that pleasant memories are simply that. They are no more or less than what happened. Yet to think that is both the pain and power of a memory: It happened. It is not happening in the present, it will never happen again.

But there was that moment; there was that time. It is miniscule, it is untenable, but it is there and it will never change. While the time itself was fleeting, the memory of that time maintains its being precious by its ever having been at all.

I had something, and then I lost it. And in every subsequent moment I either tried to ignore it or focused upon the losing.

But maybe, instead, I can simply focus on its ever having been at all. And perhaps I can be grateful that, for whatever it is worth, I can still, for the moment, remember.


Caleb said...

You can never go back.
You can never go back.
You can never go back.

Caleb said...


...a presence I haven't felt since...

_J_ said...

So true. I think Kodos said it best:

We must move forward,
not backward,
not forward,
and always twirling,
towards freedom.