Sunday, May 29, 2011

Looking back, looking ahead

I was visiting a ruined city recently. It was striking how a lifeless city could evoke so much passion in me. I essentially live in the past -- there I made a mistake, there I could have done something differently, here I could have taken a chance, here I should have left things as they were.
In this constant looking back into the past, I also looked towards a bleak future. If it didn't work in the past why would it in the future? If it didn't work for my mom why would it work for me? If it worked for my sister, it wouldn't work for me. I could go on and on but I am caught up with the past again.
In the ruined city, I met my ghosts. My ancestors from bygone eras. I was understandably scared. Time stopped while I waited to see what havoc they would wreck. My companions told me not to look at the past in its eyes. I obeyed them. And they decided to let go and walk on their four legs past us, presumably oblivious of their future waiting to let them pass.
We didn't face the wrath of our ancestors that day. They moved on and we, relieved, started walking out of the city. But that's not my nature. I have to constantly look back, right? So, scared that past might overshadow my present again, I turn ... and guess what, the past turns back too and looks at me squarely in the eye.
We are no different, the past us and the present us. The future will be no different either.   

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