Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2018 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Cleaning the Clutter"--I might literally be cleaning my closets or figuratively clearing the excess from some other part of my life. I'm sure you can think of other things this could mean for you as well.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Monday, November 26, 2018

Just Thinking As We Approach Year's End (déjà vu)



This is a re-post from my currently inactive memoir blog Wrote By Rote.  This post first appeared on December 31, 2011.   





Winds of Change Without Awareness--A New Year's Eve Once Upon a Time

                                                             Image via Wikipedia

I try to remember but I can't. It's the exact year that I don't remember, or most of the details of that evening. I do know it was New Year's Eve.

I was married to my second wife, Susan, at the time. We were in Tennessee at my parents' house. This is where we typically spent New Year's Eve. It was the more happening place between going to Richmond, Virginia, where her parents lived, and being with my family, who were the more fun party people.

My father was still alive at the time, our kids were still babies, and my wife and I were still in our thirties. The house was aglow with lights and music and chatter and laughter as the festivities pressed on toward the turning over of one year to the next. Everyone was having a grand time.

At one point Susan and I decided to go out into the dark quiet of the night to take a break from the activity in the house. It was unseasonably warm that end of December night. Strangely and unseasonably warm--more like a summer night, but with the crisp dryness of autumn.

In silence, we strolled into the expansive back yard to a point that was about fifty yards from the house and sat down side by side in the desiccated winter grass. Wordless, we smoked a joint under a cloudless starry sky and basked in the comforting balminess of the evening breeze. Gazing upon the big house with lights in every window silhouetted against the black night sky, I slipped into a meditation.

Here from where we sat in the back yard, the lights, the house, the people seemed so far away, and it was only Susan and I with our life together beautiful and filled with so much promise. A feeling of serenity and security enveloped me as I clutched Susan's hand. I felt that now was forever and this moment would have no end.

Then a whoosh of warm wind swept over us and I felt exhilarated. With a deep breath I leaned forward to breathe in the moment. It was only Susan and I. Our world was perfect. A mental image of a distant future filled my mind--a place peaceful and beautiful where my wife and I would grow older together and watch our grandchildren grow and we would fade into the twilight years happy with the satisfaction of dreams fulfilled.

That was then, one moment on a New Year's Eve many years ago. Not too many years after that night it ended. Things changed and became different. I'm not even sure what happened or why it happened, but only that it did happen. Susan left and what we had was over. Any dreams she had once had about us were simply shrugged off as she moved on, leaving me to shoulder the burdens of memory and the confusion of questioning why things had come to the point they had reached.

It was one New Year's Eve when things were weirdly warm and sublimely wonderful. It was only an illusion--my personal illusion I guess. The winds bring change that we don't even realize, things we don't understand even after they've blown past us. Life sweeps us forward to where the next adventure awaits. There is time for memories, but no real time for memories. The memories are only illusion.

A new year is a new year and an old year is an old year and all of the years just blend together. Our minds capture certain memories isolated without reference other than the years that came before and the years that followed, whichever those years might have been. And even then we sometimes don't know which years or why.

Capture this moment in time. Savor it and breathe it in deeply. This is the last time you will ever be here.

            Have you ever been swept by a magical wind?   When your expectations aren't fulfilled do you accept your circumstances with a shrug or clenched fists?   How much has your life changed in the past seven years?








28 comments:

  1. A moment is only a moment... we have to seek after God for the forever.

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    1. CW, so true. Each moment is like eating one M & M out of a big bag of them.

      Lee

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  2. This is a very thought-provoking post, I'm glad you reposted it. It goes to show that we can never tell what will happen, so we have to fly on the wind that's blowing us right now.

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    1. Nick, life tosses us some unexpected curve balls sometimes. But we just have to stay in the game if we can.

      Lee

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  3. What was that line from Heraclitus, "Man cannot step into the same river twice"?

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    1. John, I'm not familiar with that saying. I'd say we can step into the river many times, but each time we come into contact with different waters than before.

      Lee

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  4. Swept up by a magical wind? Yes...every Grateful Dead show I ever went to. As for things in the last 7 years, that's about as long as I've lived back here in the Cape Cod area. I have a good relationship with my stepkids and their partners. We now have 2 grandsons. I almost lost my husband to heart disease last year and now every day is a gift.

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    1. JoJo, the older we get, the more precious the gift of each day.

      Lee

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  5. Past 7 yrs. Lots of changes here: three gr-sons, moving (big change), death of my mom and my mom-in-law, and some other moments that can be thought about.

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    1. Susan K, some of your changes sound similar to mine. I've seen 6 grandchildren added to our family. Losing my mother was a big impact on me.

      Lee

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  6. Lee,

    The winds have carried some good and then some not-so-good changes in my life over the last 7-years. Your story is a sad one. It breaks my heart, especially when I think of DD#2 who dropped a bombshell on me the Sunday before Thanksgiving that she and her husband are divorcing. I didn't see that coming or maybe I just didn't want to. The news broke my heart but in the end I just want what's best for them both. I'm still reeling from the shock. When life dishes unpleasent changes I constantly have to remind myself who's in control of my future and to look for the positive in the sea of negatives. It's a struggle but I ride the waves until the calm returns. There has been many changes in the last 7-years - death, birth, marriages, separations, divorces, poor health, good health, tearful, and joy but then that's all part of the big picture of molding us. Thanks for sharing this chapter from your life.

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    1. Cathy, sorry to hear of the impending divorce in your family. Hopefully they will reconsider and find a way to make things work.

      A lot can happen in a week let alone 7 years.

      Lee

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  7. Hi Lee, I see my response didn't come up - I must have used my cell ph but now on computer. Thanks for sharing this chapter from your life. It was very touching indeed. Sometimes those magical moments happen, they may be fleeting but always stand out as wonderful memories. Life changes all the time - it is breathtaking the speed at which it does.

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    1. Susan S, I forget most of my life, but there are certain moments that seem more memorable than others. Oddly some of those moments can seem insignificant at a glance, but I guess there are reasons those moments stand out among all the others.

      Lee

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  8. My life has changed many times, and drastically over the last five years. But luckily, so far, my mate and I are still sharing our dreams. I have no idea what the future will bring, but I am now, finally, after months of struggle, happy to be where I am/we are. It depends on the change as to how I deal with it, but most of the time, I'm learning as I age, I tend to internalize it, which isn't good!I'm trying to change that. I just wish I knew I was doing it at the time, instead of later when I'm too effected by it physically. I've had quite a few moments that I cherish, very thankfully. Happy New Year and thank you for sharing such a special moment with us...

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    1. Lisa, internalizing problems and personal difficulties can be very bad for health both physically and mentally. I'd rather talk about what's bothering me, but often the person with whom I need to talk to most doesn't want to hear what's on my mind and doesn't want to share what they are thinking.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      Lee

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  9. Magical wind? Maybe my first Journey concert. Changes in the last seven years? Plenty with kids moving in and out, hubs getting hurt and retiring. Keeps things interesting - or so they say. Nice post, Arlee

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    1. Janet, the concerts I used to attend in the early 70's were very magical to me--and they were so inexpensive and affordable on my college student budget. At an average of $5 each, those concerts were an extraordinary bargain for what we got in return.

      Lee

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  10. I had a partner, a significant other. Among the things she did not like about me included, a) I made things up. (Writers tend to do this, from time to time.) b) I said "truth be told" far too often. c) I was guilty of having too many epiphanies.

    I recall a time, late in the relationship, when she declared, I had changed. My response was, "I never change." Truth be told, I don't. I realized, at that moment, things were about to unwind, and soon conversations like this would be water under the bridge.

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    1. Michael, I don't think at our core that many of us really change. In a relationship our attitudes and perceptions of the other probably change more than we do ourselves.

      Lee

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  11. So often I'm aware that I'm living in a moment I can never get back. What has changed in my life in the last seven years? So much it would take to long to list. Some was good, some sad. Overall, like most folks, we roll with the punches and get up to face another day, another challenge.

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    1. Patricia, seven years holds an incredible amount of experiences and events and that's just a fragment of most of our lifetimes. Getting older is just another factor that affects our abilities to cope with the changes.

      Lee

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  12. I smile when I get nostalgic and think of olden times. An age ago someone really surprised me by saying "you're hiding" Wow and like you know I wasn't really, but it was such fun being discovered as I rested unseen by the public except for Eagle Eyes who discovered my hiding place. We became good friends after that.

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    1. Spacer Guy, I think there are times when we need to "hide" from others. It is also a test to see who really cares about us.

      Lee

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  13. A moment in time is just that a moment in time, it can be an amazing moment one we cherish and like to remember or it can be a moment we wish we didn't remember but all moments happen for a reason.

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    1. Jo-Anne, I find some of the moments that I remember and cherish to be a bit strange in that others might not even notice a similar event in their own lives. We each measure life in different ways.

      Lee

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  14. Beautifully written, Arlee, and heart-wrenchingly sad. I always find lost love sad, even if it led to better things later on. I hope you found happiness after her.

    Never mind seven years--my life has dramatically changed in the past year and a half, and it all started with an interview. You just never know who you're going to meet and how they will change your life.

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    1. JH, that time of my life seemed sadder many years ago whereas now I'd call it more like bittersweet.

      People and circumstances can have big impacts on where we are going and what we are doing.

      Lee

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Lee