looking forward into the past
or looking backward into the future
I walk along the highest hills
and laugh about it all the way
--- e.e. cummings
It may seem peculiar to some to look forward into the past and look backward into the future. In my early thirties when I first read those words, they were intriguing. The decades since then have revealed to me the depth and truth of that seeming conundrum. In these waning days of 2012, as in the closing days of any year, I believe it is what most of us do, perhaps informally or even unconsciously. Nevertheless, some memories arise unbidden, nostalgia may creep in, some regrets appear along with some tender smiles of recognition. We may even formulate a few resolutions for the new year, hoping and wishing for improvement.
We set the future in motion by the way we regard the past. If we carry forward resentments, regrets, doubts and fears, it is very likely that the future will be an instant replay. In the film, “Groundhog Day,” Bill Murray’s character gets to redo the same day over and over again until he finally becomes more loving and kind. Only then is he freed of his past. Would that it were so easy! we might say. And yet, once we “get it” and we look back from the other side, from the future, we may be able to laugh about it all the way. We can walk and skip and dance along the highest hills.
Happy New Year!