The tenacity of history

“memory is a terrible thing. If you use it right” – Kathleen Edwards

The past has an unfortunate habit of not staying put. It’s a petulant child ready to interupt the most inane conversation with its cries and coveting of your affections. This very nature makes the past, like the future, fluid and ever changing since your perspective and interpretation of past events are ever changing. Some people have the super-hero like ability to ignore this. “Past is past” these people say, with a mundanity that leaves me puzzled and jealous.

I find myself in this frame of mind today, more than a year after the ending of a budding wonderful romance (long distance tho it would have been) and a many year friendship. The death of the romance was her doing, the death of the friendship mostly mine. The details of this are ultimately unimportant. It’s an old, cliched story. The real point I find myself pondering is leaving the past in the past.

My feelings for this girl have now survived five years since we first met and it took me almost four to make them known to her. I would tell myself it would fade with time.. but it hasn’t. They merely get stronger and stronger and I find myself on days like today: thinking of her fondly and wistfully. Part of me doesn’t want that to go away. Thinking that I should wear the memories like some perverse badge of honour. Also, as a song writer, I use it as fuel for writing some of the best, and most worthwhile music and poetry ever. My dad would tell me “a broken heart introduces a man to himself.” Perhaps that’s simply all it is. It’s pain from the loss of love but also pain from growing and maturing and learning. That’s something that never changes. At times I would do anything to stop it. At various times I have drank too much, been on heavy doses of prescription SNRI’s, scored 69 on the Burn’s Depression Checklist and even had most of the standard warning signs for suicide. I’m still here. I still fight and I still care. I wear that badge with pride and carry my burdens because they are mine. I’m built of strong stuff. Nietzsche said “even the strongest have their moments of fatigue” and today is one of those days.

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One response to “The tenacity of history

  1. Profound dad, and it applies equally well to women.

    As a history student and a feeling human, I definitely concur about the pervasive nature of “the past.” And I’m glad you march on.

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