I have to start by saying I’m a hypocrite, like so many others. Sometimes people think that I overlook that. Part of that can be attributed to the torrent of words, the river of thoughts that give insight but also confuse people. I’m writing this as I walk, even as my legs protest that they carried me much too far yesterday.
I love genealogy, I looking back into the past. Sometimes maybe I’ll linger a little too fondly. But then I always have the harshness to remind me that I certainly do not idolize the halcyon days. A lot of our lives can be rendered golden through the filter of memory. It’s likely that days like yesterday will one day be gauzy and acquire the patina of remembrance.
One of the ongoing things that I see all of us doing is focusing on the silhouette and the ghosts that precede us. In itself that’s a good thing, to amplify and rejuvenate the memories of people who aren’t with us. Love remembered tends to overpower the love of our daily moments, in part because we often don’t recognize the weight of our moments as we experience them.
Those people had their spot on this Earth. They left their mark, forged bonds, or they didn’t. We should remember them in increments every day as we live our lives. Doing so amplifies the mundane and sometimes transforms our days.
If I linger too long standing on a grave, people around me wither. Our finite number of seconds doesn’t stop or pause or give a pardon for the time we spend looking back. We have to be careful not to squander the opportunity to give nourishment to the people who are breathing in the space with us.
Our ghosts don’t need warm words of acknowledged affection, an arm around their shoulder, or even a moment of silence in the face of anger as life’s moments challenge us.
Fellow hypocrites, join me in this: look back, yes, but look around. I love genealogy.