Thursday, April 9, 2009

Unrepeatable Memories: When We Can Only Reminisce

It happens as a young adult, or perhaps in middle age; anytime in life, really. That time, when we’re in an absolute rapture--when life is abuzz with goodness--can never quite be the same again.

“Some memories are realities, and are better than anything that can ever happen to one again”
–Willa Cather.

Almost with a tinge of everlasting regret we consider fondly what was. The times have changed, along with the environment, and the people… well, they’ll never be the same again either. We can try and replicate it but it will never work.

It might’ve been the atmosphere captured at a certain party, or with a team we played with, or even a family that once was--as it was, but is now no longer.

There is the opportunity here, of course, to choose to remember what was with either transient fondness, or allow a painful sort of envious regret--a childlike pining for those times to return. And the pain is increased by our knowing it’s impossible to replicate these memories.

Yet, people try. They try to re-capture their youth, perhaps, that has blown with the wind, long away. And we’re all prone, the more we think about it.

Life has more pain than joy when we’re honest, and in this frame of mind. How do we be thankful for what cannot ever be enjoyed in reality again? Somehow it must be possible.

And it is possible. Reflecting with a humble sadness of acceptance can paradoxically produce in us a quiet inner peace and joy that absolutely transcends understanding. Somehow we just are, and that’s okay. We can calmly smile. We’re very close to God here.

Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.

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