Tonight, I have had one of those evenings where I think back accompanied by music of the time. I miss Texas or I miss the life I had there.
But then I had a thought. My memories of that time or indeed any time in my life are vague with very few clear memories. Knowing memory, even those clearer images may not be real at all but deeply tinted with a certain wishfulness or nostalgia. I have photos, the recollections of others – my sons for example as well however, the truth may be that my past is as vague and as unreal as my future because my memories are selective and easily reprogrammed by constant use. Life back then was as life now most likely and I look back only because I feel older and closer to the ultimate destination. Music though is a way to raise the emotional side – the soul side – and I do find that it always drags me backwards rather than forwards.
The problem with that is what I once called the tipping point. That is the moment at which we as individuals spend more time remembering than relishing. More time looking back than looking forwards. It is at this point – this balance point – that we begin to age. I try to look forwards with expectation – I feel I create my life and my reality via expectation and faith in myself – by taking responsibility for myself. At least within the context of a greater whole that is the One Thing in which I have my existence. As we get older though, it is difficult not to spend more of our energy with our attention in the past – so many people gone from our lives, so many situations. So much change. Where we give our attention is where our energy goes and when it is given to the past rather than the future… what then? We tip slowly into old age…
This is the natural cycle of things and as we tip into old age, we cling on to those things that give some semblance of stability. Unfortunately, what we cling to is often what I call the horny matter of our existence – the hardened outer shell of often bitter experience. It is hard not to do so but we must learn to let go, cast off this horny matter and feel. The raw emotion experienced through experience is what keeps us young and vibrant and full of life energy.
Think about that. Remember how life was when you were young experiencing something for the very first time? Perhaps it was the freedom of becoming an adult escaping the parents. Perhaps it was making love for the very first time. Maybe it was as simple as staying up all night? Whatever the experience, the second and subsequent times were not the same. Each time the emotional involvement was lessened as we built that horny matter of experience – as we built a wall to protect and defend and shut ourselves off.
It’s not easy to let go but this is what we must do. We must let go and open ourselves to fate – to divine providence. We must have faith and accept the will of a higher power. As we do so, we live more boldly, more rawly and we engage the emotional body more deeply. We infuse ourselves with life energies and we thrive. We have access to eternal youth if only we could grasp it.
And so, as my memories flooded in I made a decision. Stop. I will look forward instead to the things I wish to do and to achieve. And do you know what? Those things are not as they were 30-years ago. I seek very different things now. I seek the magic not the material.