Saturday, May 29, 2010

Rose-colored glasses

or just age-related memory lapse? The persistence of memory indeed.

Wistful? How would I describe my mood today, Alex? I'll take Paths to Self-Delusion for $1000.

There may be moments in time best left to the scrapheap of memory lapse, or blackout, or brain damage. It depends on how much you can face, or how many times you're comfortable repeating the same mistakes. Some of us don't have the luxury of choosing what comes back and what remains obscured by time. Call it masochism, or sadism if I've already bored you, but I do prefer to remember. Every so often the past bears an important lesson.

Now and again... not always.

I've been sitting around though, for the past 36 hours or so, feeling wistful. Not quite mournful, but ailing still, my mind running a sad lament for the explosive summer openers of old. The ghost of Memorial Day past was coming back to haunt me in my waking and sleeping hours. The beginning of summer and all it bodes had my faulty, old spark plugs firing. Yet I have been facing it with a growing sense of... not quite doom... but nagging trepidation. Friday morning wore on into Friday afternoon and I could feel something growing. The clock spun and my outbound calls and e-mails were greeted with an increasing number of out-of-office responses. I was talking to machines. The exodus had begun. Yet I was still planted firm. No big plans. No mayhem scheduled. No phone calls asking what time I would be... somewhere. Co-workers, packed from the night before and ready to go, slowly filed out.

Big plans, some asked?

Well, yes... but I wasn't ready to explain. A few things have changed. Big things, actually, but perhaps another time. Maybe.

And I delved further into... not despair... some purgatory between Friday afternoon relief, or even excitement, and tedium. And somewhere to the left of reality as well, apparently.

The compulsion to keep a diary, or a journal or a blog can be a gift or a curse, depending on what a trek back in time reveals. There was a time until fairly recently when maintenance of both a diary and a blog was a fairly big part of my life. Not that much of what is stored within isn't colored by whatever mis-perception I may have suffered at the time something was written, but I did really try to be honest with myself... to varying degrees of success. The time travel this time, however, was illuminating. I didn't unearth the musings of a particularly carefree soul. Hopscotching back across Memorial Days past pieced together a jigsaw image of a... a wistful and often troubled man. It was a portrait of excruciating self-consciousness, alienation, and more than anything else, plain, old tedium.

Maybe it's not so odd to feel nostalgia for that which we only think we remember having. It's unsettling to find one's self engaged in lamenting the loss of something that never happened or even existed though. It's got me wondering what else I'm remembering incorrectly. At some point, I'd like to, like a diligent Amish plowman, hitch up the old horse and turn a few fields over, haul out the rocks, sow again and see what comes up.

I've always wanted to be a farmer.

Just sayin'...