What will I remember when I get old; when now becomes then? Will it be something from the rarefied past, cleansed of impurities and less dense?
Once I had the self-assurance of the very young. Now I realize that everyone looks better in the rear view mirror, and no one is very different from anyone else. Sometimes an artist’s first invention is himself, and it usually needs a little alteration. I never doubted that my direction was the right one, and plowed right through a problem till it was solved. Now I sometimes spend time doubting if I know what I think I know. Or maybe it’s simply a failure of the imagination.
We go through many levels of becoming in a lifetime. It takes more than a village to mold a memory; we are creating new ones every day. I will choose to remember the good things; the things no one else knows. Small fleeting bright spots which flicker through my consciousness unbidden like the swelling of the ocean beneath your boat.
Mt. Rainier, photo by Jerry Johnson
A small sailboat easing round a bend on a sunny morning, and seagulls crying at the beach. The thought of Mount Rainier rising majestically through the clouds above the rabble below, or Mount Shasta in the moonlight. Just glimpses. Quick flashes of memory tying me to a moment in time. I will remember the smell of wet clay or the warm smells of sugary desserts coming from my oven. We all have them, and they are like the warm yellow windows of home on a dark night.
The larger memories of precious family, present and past, and friends who graced me with their presence, I will think of often, and I will snuggle in my bed smiling in contentment thinking of my husband, and the luck which led him to my doorstep so long ago.
I will hide the dark things, the roadblocks which come to us all. We have survived. There is no need to relive them. Sometimes nature takes pity and leads us to a better place.
Albert Schweitzer’s quotation says it better than I could:
“In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.”