Monday, March 5, 2012

We Run Faster and Faster…

We run faster and faster, hoping some day to catch up with the past, which we have irretrievably lost.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald (quoted in Out of Ireland: The Story of Irish Emigration to North America by Kerby Miller)
Over the past few years or so since hitting my fourth decade of existence I find myself looking in the past more often. Whether it be the music I like, the relationships I’ve been in or accomplishments I’ve achieved. Every thing looks great through the rose colored glasses we wear when looking back on our lives it seems. The music seems better, the girls prettier and the achievements legendary. 
Don’t get me wrong but reflecting on the past does have it’s value. If we do not at least learn from our successes and failures then what do we learn from? Much of life is trial and error to begin with. If we don’t record where we’ve been how do we know where to begin again. Where would the human race be if each generation had to start from scratch again?
You glorify the past
When the future dries up

-U2, “God Part 2”
Is it because of middle age I feel(like others) we feel the need to revisit the past. Has the future dried up for us forty-somethings? Are we feeling our own mortality creeping in? Name one top ten pop song? Let’s face it pop culture is geared towards youth. Most of your favorite musical artists are on the “Oldies” stations now. So it seems we dig up the past to combat this trend. Are we not then ignoring our present time and ignoring our future?
Would we change what we’ve done in the past. For those that have seen the classic 80’s film “Back to the Future” remember Marty Mcfly’s fading family picture. In other words if we change the past it would have a chain effect on our present situation. Would we have our children, spouses or friends with us?
Can we go back to the way it was? In the beginning of this I quoted from a documentary “Out of Ireland: The Story of Irish Emigration to America”. In this film was the the story of of an Irish emigrant who went back to Ireland to revisit his homeland. When he returned his childhood home it was run down and over grown. Most friends and relatives were gone. It was then he realized his new home was in America. Makes me wonder if were so caught up in the past we don’t realize we still have a life to lead in front us. Our home is where we are now.

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