I've decided to start writing about stories from my childhood. I'm scared about losing stories from my past. It's funny how the passing of time causes memories to slip away. Some of the stories I will share are simple ubiquitous pastimes that speak of universal human longings, behaviors and activities. Others might be unique to me alone, I don't know.
I just don't want to lose the early years of my life. My life now seems so far away from my past, and yet there are times when it seems that the more things change, the more they stay the same. The older I get, the younger I feel. Some of the emotions that I experienced when I was five still persist. Some of the fears that used to paralyze me still constrict my heart in times of testing. Some of the same longings and disappointments that I used to nurse in my childhood still pang deep within my breast. I'm intimidated by the same things. I'm excited by the same sights and sounds and smells. Though my current life seems filled with high risk/high reward responsibilities, my heart still feels small town, underwhelming. I can't believe how many times during a given week I am minding my own business in the 21st century when something will come out of nowhere and transport me back into the 20th century. (wow, that makes it seem like I'm being transported back into antiquity!) Something that I felt in the late 70's, something I experienced in the mid-80's, something I was scared of in the early 90's...these "somethings" linger latent inside me and are "necromanticly" summoned in times when I'm digging deep to find my true identity.
So many things written on my heart in the early years still carry me today. I reach back to draw upon the story of my life when I need strength or wisdom. I sift through my past to find hidden treasure when I'm facing something that seems insurmountable. I flip through the rolodex-like memory bank to unearth dormant story-lines to inform the present situation. I can't believe how many things I lean into that my parents have said or done to shape me. I can't believe how often things I'm facing mirror a memory that prepped me to engage a moment with poise. Sometimes the memory doesn't appear at first to hold much value...boring almost to the casual onlooker. But for me, the memory has a nourishment that speaks something strong into my spirit. It's like having an memorial IV drip.
The better part of my past is nothing to write home about. Or to write to anyone about really. But I think it's just that sort of realization that makes it all the more special to me. The ordinary textures and common themes are becoming more and more pregnant with life to me. Nothing noteworthy, nothing earth-shattering. But I find myself rubber-necking to get a second look, a double-take to see if I've missed something I didn't see before.
I don't know how long I'll do it. I may interject other little current events in the mix, I may not. I may not make it a week. There's no elephantine vision for this personal project. Just a thought that crossed my mind last night just before I drifted off to sleep. We'll see if it seems as compelling tomorrow as it does this morning.
Here's to antiquity...