Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Past Catches Up with

Sometimes the past catches up when you are not looking.  You are, in fact, focused off to the sides, caught up in delicious or fearful distractions, but never boring ones.  Boring things have become like mosquitoes on a Summer's night, things to be swatted away.

Perhaps you are trying to game the system by seeing way off into the future.  This means you have been caught up in plans, schemes, stories to the point where you now believe you have enough to move on them, hopeful of implementing them, hopeful of some tangible result.

In any of these cases, you are not prepared for the way the past will pull you off the scent.  There is some likelihood you are engaged in getting as far from the past as possible, attempting to escape from being the hostage in which you were held, reassuring yourself how steady and certain the decisions you are about to make now have become. Even if this is not the case, you cannot help asking if it is so, wondering if the past and your memory of it is reliable.

You do want reliability, don't you?  You do want some validation that the decisions you are about to make from this moment forth have greater gravitas or humor or reliability or resonance than the ones you made some time ago. Isn't that what growth and experience, and understanding, and story arc are all about?

Some of the decisions you made in the past were of an equivalent value to the stories of young persons deciding to run away from home, not by any means because you were subject to abuse or even misunderstanding but because you interpreted your circumstances in a way that allowed you to believe you were misunderstood.

Plans, schemes, and stories begin in the now moment, but they want to work their way into the future to provide a goal you've been harboring for a long time.  Although you try not to think of it as such, in most cases, you need the past as a leavening, a benchmark of some sort to show you where you've been, perhaps even to delude you into thinking you've come along farther than you in fact have.

Look how easy it is for the past to bring in this sense of enigma so vital to story.  If a thing is too clear or too certain, trust and confidence begin packing their bags, wanting a quick get away.  When a thing is swirled in the mystery of maybe, it has the most power over us, arresting our certainty.

You find yourself wishing to join those who appreciate an instinctive flash of insight, a blaze of understanding, a lightning flash that illuminates the way out of a problem or sheds light on an entryway you'd overlooked.  There have been times when such visions appeared.  You seized on them without question or hesitation because of a past history in which you were too many times in a dither, hesitant instead of propelled into the risky future by the engines of instinct.  You saw virtues in being decisive.

But consider this, while you were seeing virtues in decisiveness, you were experiencing at first hand being seen as impulsive.  Wasn't this little more than an existential version of the half-full/half empty glass riddle? Where to go with this dialect?  Why, into the future, of course.

Your personal experiences with instinctive visions and leaps into the future and your growing awareness of the experiences of others has lead you to a place where the shadows of choice and decision have begun to reveal themselves as tangible forms.  

The men and women who have produced things of resonant value for you may have started with a slight glimmer of vision, but then came to the place where they had to dither and fret, do and revise, do and throw away, only to begin from the source once again.

A look at the night sky, a painting, a design, a page of story all seem so intuitive, so fresh and gravid with meaning and implication.  So yes, the past catches up when you are not looking, bringing you implication, fresh batteries for your portable lights, codices of information presented to you now, as though for the first time.  The past brings information, but it may not always be the most reliable, and so you dither, then pick a direction.  Then act.

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