For better or worse, mostly for worse, I have always been driven by my past. I let it define me and, worse yet, I let it define my future. It was a major part of my psyche to the point of obsession.
Recently, that stopped being the case. One hopes. I went to see a show by a local and successful musician that I have not seen around for some time. After the show, I decided to chat up a young lady and mentioned seeing that musician at a festival back in 2006. The young lady informed me that back in 2006 she was in kindergarten. Nothing to make one feel old quite like that. Though normally I am not at all bothered by age differences in one direction nor the other, somehow that conversation made me feel a little creepy. To clear my mental palate, I decided to chat with the aforementioned lady musician. Not a specialist by any means, I believe I flirted. Oh, my. And she did not freak out and ran away. Oh, myyy! It did not go further than that but it did provide a valuable realisation: it serves no purpose being obsessed by the past and letting it decide one’s future because it had passed and the future is full of possibilities that are yet to happen. It is a good aim. Reality, however, can be quite different.
As I mentioned in the previous post, as my friend and I were on the way to his family’s house in the mountains (the view from the living room is beyond spectacular), I was deeply touched by Nick Lowe’s new song.
“Lately when I go steal a kiss
I feel you pulling away
I know something is amiss
But what it is, you won’t say.”
– Nick Lowe, “Sensitive Man”
It is funny how certain sounds, and especially music, get so tightly interwoven with our memories. Hearing those words reminded me of the last couple of weeks of my relationship with the ex. But it was not the memories of that that rolled over me with all of the inevitability of a steamroller but rather the memories of the climbing Road trip we have taken in the happier times. The sense memory of driving back home at night, listening to music, finding her hand in the dark and bringing it to my lips, her tender caress of my hair, it all was so incredibly vivid and powerful! Where did that come from all of the sudden? Why did the past spring forth with the strength of the volcanic magma just when it seemed to have been rendered dormant?
Reality of dealing with one’s past is a complicated affair at the best of times. As much as the right away may be evident, the unconscious’ refusal to cooperate will keep on rearing its ugly head with the force of a multi-ton metal cylinder.