Monday, January 4, 2010

Looking Back, Looking Forward

(Wanting to start the new year with a positive outlook, I chose to look backward and adopt a self-congratulatory attitude. Reviewing past posts on this blog, I assayed to pick a "favorite." I am quite pleased with the stories about family and the items devoted to genealogy. I like the "tales to be told" series. But for rehash today, I chose this item which I posted early in the life of this blog.)

Memory and History

A couple days ago I posted a snippet titled "Nostalgia." Now we know that nostalgia is an unreasonable yearning for something in the past, something that cannot be. But what we don't often think about is that everything is past. What we recall, we may hold so long as we can remember. What we record is history.

Imagine a movie being played reel-to-reel. (We have to go retrotech here for the imagery.) The top reel is the future, the lower reel, the past. As the film flicks by the lens the present is revealed, in this case 1/24th of a second for each frame. But the present can actually be defined by infinitely smaller units: nanoseconds. Nay, even less for instantly the "present" is the past. We cannot see the future. We may anticipate it, contemplate it, fantasize about it or even plan for it. But we cannot live it. Only the briefest of instants compose our present experience.

We cannot live in the past; it is gone. But we may remember it, recall it, relate it, thereby relegating yet more of our "present" to the past. What is your life without memory?

For all that philosophers and physicists may expound on this "time" we have, it is just as simple as we have limned it herein and just as complex as our memories allow.

Are you making any memories? Are you making history?
Is your hand in the hand of the Eternal Guide?

5 comments:

Secondary Roads said...

In answer to your final three questions: Yes, yes and yes. Seems to me that nostalgia is not what it used to be.

Andrea said...

I am leaving the past behind, enjoying the present, and looking toward the future with eager expectation.
Blessings, andrea

vanilla said...

Excellent answers, Chuck. I believe you pass with flying colors!

Also excellent, Andrea. "A" for the entire class!

Matt @ The Church of No People said...

Great post! I hope you have a great new year of blogging!

vanilla said...

Thank you, Matt. And I wish you a great year of blogging and service to the Lord.. I'll be following your blog.