Monday, January 26, 2009

What I miss...

Yesterday a friend of mine told me that someone told her that it's not such a great idea to spend too much time looking into the rear view mirrors of our lives. It's a better use of our time, he told her, to look out through the windshield towards the future.

His comments reminded me of the Scripture that says to forget what is behind and press on towards the mark, the future. There is also the great promise of a hope and future, plans to prosper us and not to harm us. I like those passages, the ones that reassure me that these present sufferings do not compare to the glory that is yet to come.
That's good stuff, for sure.
But there is also the here and now. Both the current sufferings and the current joys.
Life is what it is, right here and right now.

There is nothing to be gained by trying to erase the past. it was. it is gone.
nonetheless memories ooze in around the edges of each day, each hour.
flipping through a few digital photos this evening,
i was reminded of good times gone by.
if you want to hear the song that would be the sound track to this post if i weren't both technologically un-savvy and averse to forcing you to listen to a song you may not care to hear,
check out billy joel's "I've loved these days."

I miss solo dinners and sipping overpriced tropical drinks with mango in them.

I miss spilling tropical drinks and sweet and sour sauce and garlicky gravy on my journal while I eat and drink and write all at the same time.

I miss going out on unpretentious, uncomplicated coffee dates with my husband, sitting at a bookshop table, flipping through magazines, and holding hands.

And most of all, i miss solo travel. walking past statues i love on the way back and forth to my hotel.
i miss taking photos of famous and infamous sights
i miss sitting for hours in museums and cathedrals and on park benches with nothing at all on my agenda and no one expecting me to show up at any particular place at any particular time
i miss leaving my hotel at 8 am and returning at 8 pm to put my stuff down before heading out for a nighttime adventure
i miss knowing that no one else in the world knows where i am
or what i am up to

i've loved these days, it's true.
but i also miss the simplicity and ease and beauty and unpredictability and wildness and freedom of the life i used to have


jmgb said...

i miss dreaming about the future without having to consider someone else's dreams/thoughts/feelings/joint decisions.

i now treasure all the times my mind expanded into something promising that was solely mine...

Amy said...

I'm still hoping to have the guts to do a road trip out West some time. I admire you for your free spirit and bravery in traveling solo to far away places.

ley said...

your posts are always inspired me..
I always dreaming to go somewhere whom someone has never been to..

Lori said...

I miss the past in a sense. That last picture you published made me yearn for Italy. I was in that same spot, Gail. I can't take my mind off Italy. I can't go back into my past but I can dream about my future. And what I'm going to do next. Check out my blog,tell me if that picture rings a bell with you. I need a road trip soon!

Lisa said...

Yeah. I get this. So many amazing memories - palpable - in the midst of our current existence.

And that Billy Joel song? LOVE IT! Believe it or not, it's on my Ipod, even. Also love the lyrics to Summer at Highland Falls.

But I want to encourage you away from either/or thinking, dear Gail. It can be both/and. Give yourself permission to exist in there here and now of your world in Charlotte AND make a temporary escape to someplace where you can be anonymous. It may not be Madrid, Rome, Paris...but I'm sure there are plenty of places in NC/SC that haven't been graced by your beautiful presence and wandering spirit.

Just do it. Set a date. Pick a point on the map. No apologies. No explanations.

Can't wait to hear where you find yourself!