Living in the Past


After skin and bones, memory is what people are made of. And if memory is what people are made of, then people are made of loss. The present is all that’s genuinely available to anyone, and the present is fleeting, always turning instantly to the past. ~ Bill Roorbach

Living in the past is a hazard of being a writer. I’m always turning my face to look behind me at my stories, my memories, my history, strung out like tin cans trailing behind a bridal car.

There I find people I once loved, who knew me when I was younger. There I remember the feeling of innocence and expectation, looking forward to an unfolding life.

The past contains the first times — the first date, the first kiss, the first orgasm, the first time someone said ‘I love you’. These are the jewels I carry into the present and into the future.

Most of the time I live in the present, floating above the ground in a swirl of clouds but my feet sometimes long for the feel of dirt beneath my toes. I can’t levitate forever. I fall to the earth, full of hard sharp stones that cut at my feet and precious gems that glisten in the light.

What precious gems do you carry with you from your past?

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3 thoughts on “Living in the Past

  1. I try to keep all the happy memories and forget what I don’t like. I would say my childhood is the precious memory I carry form the past. Great post!


  2. I try not carry to many of those gems , it makes it harder to walk over that bridge to Shangri-La. When I get there though all those wonders will come flooding back full force. I’ll be glad.

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