Many times I am blindsided by a memory,
those insistent ones that, like an unwanted houseguest,
never seem to get the hint that they are really not wanted.
And yet I find that I am physically unable to hit pause,
to stop the progress of the thought that, once formed,
now permanently blazes on the screen of my mind,
taunting me to once again relive that which I so desperately wish to erase.
But there is no delete button and so I must continue,
cringing at each moment of teenage humiliation,
of ignorant stupidity and, so often, cruel belittlement.
I try to distance myself, let it run its course as though the television were on
but I was actually reading a book.
It always fails.
And so time and again I am drawn back into the melodrama of my life,
leaving me open, fragile,
What is this hold my past has on me? What stops me from letting it go?
Surely it must be me that hoards these thoughts,
piles them up like one of those sad souls featured in obscure reality shows.
But what puzzles me more is the fact that I find so few good ones,
memories with the power to negate them with their sheer beauty and accomplishment.
I know they are there, evidence of them litters my home and my body.
Yet for some odd reason, they never come forth to defend me,
always hiding in the shadows, not confident in their powers to impress.
Albert Schweitzer said that happiness is nothing more than good health and bad memory.
Whatever you thought of the man, you have to admit he nailed that one.
There are moments so dark that I truly believe I would sacrifice the good ones
to be rid of the bad.
After all, I’d never know.
It’s a foolish thought though, as eradicating all history of my past would wipe out my life,
I would cease to have lived.
A life not lived would be more tragic than a thousand embarrassing moments
broadcast on live tv for all the world to witness.
For a life with no past would leave me nothing more than an empty shell.
So I trudge on, blindly enjoying the scent of lilies and the laughter of children.
I trudge on, hoping to see rainbows and find things that will amaze me.
They may not have the power to destroy all that which binds me to my past failures
but I realise now that they will always have the power
to make me smile.
And that, I think, will be enough.