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Monday, September 25, 2006

Pockets of Peace

There are really far too many things to worry about these days. And like most worriesome things they are largely out of our control. Modern life is clearly full of too much information, too many goods and services, too much technology and time-saving products to be completely comfortable anymore. Ironically most of these 'modern' conveniences are supposed to make us more comfortable.

We travelled to the mountains this past weekend for a four day family vacation. Just the four of us, no visiting friends, no visiting family, just relaxing in the woods, feeding the ducks on the lake. On the drive I got a lot of time to think, as you do... I noticed I did a lot more thinking on the way there than on the way back. Funny that. But it means the 'vacation' part worked. For a few days I got to not feel guilty or take sides, donate money or worry about what was going wrong in the country, and in the world.

In my think on the way to I thought a lot about my father. Not my real father (i.e. my dad, stepfather who chose to be our dad) but my biological father. He has been absent from my and my Genetic Twin's (sister) lives since I was about S.O.v.1's age and she was five. I thought mostly about what his absence means. Not that I particularly miss him - I never knew him really - but I used to feel that there was a hole of sorts, a chunk of something gone. I thought about what it means to me now, to not have his presence in my life or even know anything significant about him. The Female Parental Unit (mom) doesn't talk about him so we have very little information. When I see some of S.O. in our kids and even get little glimpses of myself in them it sometimes makes me wonder what I have of him.

My GT and I used to occasionally muse about finding him, but haven't for years. At this point, I have sealed up that hole. I don't really want to go in the hatch. I don't necessarily consider it part of my destiny (come on people, "Lost" anyone?) and believe that it would bring possibly only grievance or at best indifference if we were to 'find him', or find out anything about him even. So, I let it go. I moved on and deal with the present. The past may have created the who I am now but it won't control me.

But the past does control many people. Worse it controls whole populations of people. Part of the struggles of the Middle East, no doubt, are past-ridden. To look back and find something about who you are, as a human being, or as a culture, as a country is to be respectful and have reverence for those who have gone before. But to look to the past for how to manage the present is insanity. To do that is to not recognize that you can't change the past or even make up for what has been lost. What is gone is gone is gone is gone and there ain't no getting it back, no how. But yet the past is invoked time and again to justify present actions. We were supposed to have moved beyond that behavior when we advanced to the 7th grade, weren't we? "Well he stole my cookie from my lunch tray so I took his milk"... "and vengence is MINE!" Come on! We know psychologically speaking that if, say, I continued to try and 'make up' for the loss of a father year after year after year I would be spinning my wheels, being self destructive and miserable. Because you cannot get back what is no longer there. So any substitute, be it a fatherly boyfriend, or reunification with your ancesteral home will not put your psyche together again. It might be nifty for a time, but you will go right back to vengeful behavior if you keep looking backwards. Notice how it's not called "Look Now in Anger"?

So, after four days of unscheduled time, a couple of hikes and time with The Adorables I had very little brain action on the drive home. I had, for a time, a little pocket of peace. I had it because for those four days I was not trying to finish anything or start anything or create anything or destroy anything. I was only experiencing the present. And I discovered that in the here and now the past doesn't feel so uncomfortable. And the future doesn't seem so daunting. The people before you are just as wonderful, if not more, when you are peaceful inside yourself enough to see and hear them clearly.

1 comment:

demondoll said...

It's true. When I am at peace with myself, it is much easier to appreciate my loved ones just as they are, not for their potential. Thank you for the gentle reminder, i have been a little twitchy lately. xoxoxo