August 27, 2009

live long and prosper

This summer isn't the first time I've learned that, in William Faulkner's words, "The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past." I wonder sometimes what to make of this quote. Should we be sad that the past has a ceaseless grip on the present, or should it give us cause to rejoice? In the case of this photograph, I am glad that the past never leaves us.

Meet my Grandma and Grandpa Wilson. They both passed away before I was even a teenager, but I have certain unforgettable memories of them. One that really stays with me is an occasion when Grandpa and I were alone in his living room. He was kind of a quiet type in his later years, and we just sat in silence for a long time. After a while, Grandpa held up his arm and positioned his hand in the "Live Long and Prosper" symbol from Star Trek. That was the day I learned how to do that trick.

What does that moment really mean? I'm not sure. What I do know is that I smile to think of it. My only regret regarding my grandparents is that I wish I had had more time. I wish I had gotten to know them better while I had the chance.

... and that's where the present comes in. If we make our days worth living and create a constant flow of happy moments for ourselves, our past won't be lamentable. It will be a source of joy and comfort. That's not to say nothing bad will ever happen. These two lovely people are no longer on this world. But I can stand as a living legacy of their impact. And maybe that's all that matters. For today.

1 comment:

  1. Dan and I were just talking yesterday about experiences we had with people in the past that entirely shaped certain mindsets we have now. How mind-boggling is it that a conversation with someone, a careless action on the part of someone we love, can effect our whole perceptions? It makes one want to be really conscious of the experiences of the everyday, and making the most of the time given.