Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Looking back into the beautiful wild wilderness....

For many years I thought I couldn't look back. That I'd be frozen into salt like Lot's wife. And anyway, I had to trudge ahead for survival's sake.

Looking back was first a luxury, then a fear, then a rule not to be broken. I wonder if that's how most things get outlawed? First it's JUST TOO YUMMY. Then you become afraid of tasting it again, and then... you outlaw it altogether to obscure any temptation you might have.

Last year, I did a terrible thing.

I broke the law and looked back. It was a dizzying, death defying act. I couldn't adjust my eyes, at first... but then? Looking through the prism of what was  discovered something extraordinary.

If you don't float around in the waters of what was, you can't figure out what is.

I just got back from a weeklong stay in the past. I snuggled into its warmth. Dove into its ocean. Drank wine from its jam jars. Smoked from its pack of Winston Lights.

I gazed at myself through mirrors that watched me grow up all those summers long ago, and they sighed with happiness to see me older, now. Able to look back, now. Those mirrors. How lovely. They softened my wrinkles and deepened my smile.

In the soft hours of yesterday there was joy mixed all up inside the pain.

Find the joy.

OH! But there is a punishment for breaking the law. You also have to open some old wounds. But you know what? I have a really high pain tolerance. How about you?



  1. Love this post. It highlights your great writing talent and digs dirt off a half-buried chord. The past is part of who we are; it's how we got to be in the "now." But, the past can be painful and mysterious and bittersweet. And, like you so eloquently express, it can - if explored with respect and well-earned distance - soften the lines and blow away some of the smoke surrounding our misty clouds.

  2. Beautiful insight. You know how to get to the heart of things.
    I recently downsized in a major way in order to move, so I spent time stumbling on pictures, letters, and objects of time long gone. Some things got wrapped in tissue paper and stayed with me, others got shredded or otherwise sent on their way. It was liberating to acknowledge it all but realize some of those past pains need hurt no more.

  3. Sometimes old wounds open to complete the healing.Painful, yes.
    But also healing.
    A walk through the past is sometimes good.

  4. This is a great post Suzy. Looking back can cause pain but it can also make one face one's fears. I am glad the mirror you gazed into was kind and welcomed you as an old friend. My pain tolerance really depends on the day. Hope your day is filled with a high level of tolerance!

  5. I hate when those wounds open, but I suppose they help me move forward. Although sometimes they keep me stuck.