Bottling the Past, Building the Present

So far away: early 2000s Detroit

So far away: Detroit, 2002/3

I have two songs going through my head. One is definitely from my past:

“Doesn’t anybody stay in one place anymore? / It would be so fine to see your face at my door…” – Carole King, “Tapestry”

The other is from my present: as in, I first heard it after moving to Britain. It was already an old song, but it brings back memories of when we were first married, plus my fears for the future.

All in a single which lasts just over four minutes.

Have you guessed what it is yet?

American Steiff Bear (l), British Car Boot Bear (r)

American Steiff Bear (l), British Car Boot Bear (r)

“One more song about moving along the highway…”

Sing it to me, Carole, love. I was a deeply uncool kid, but even I remember “Tapestry”. That album cover, plus a few others like Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”, are among the few I can easily call up from my sometimes haphazard memory.

I’m writing this whilst waiting for a visit from my mental health worker. I’ve not seen them for awhile: part of a plan to move me further and farther along that services highway.

It’s not been the easiest three months or so, but then, who does have an easy life? Like most things, it’s all comparative. And, thanks in part to my job, every week I meet people with so much more to cope with, than me.

Canada Geese, photographed in Yorkshire, can make me think of America.

Canada Geese, photographed in Yorkshire, can make me think of America.

I haven’t managed to start meditation yet, despite the knowledge that it would do me good. Perhaps it’s that business about “one more step” along that highway. Not two, or three, or 17. Just one at a time. Because, gods know, sometimes it’s a struggle just taking that single step.

I am doing a lot better about living in the present, rather than dwelling on the past, or tearing myself into shreds about the future. Like the one in that second song:

“So the past has been bottled …”

Paste on that label, right now. Write on it “with love“.

Then put the bottle away. To revisit, occasionally, on this blog.

Next, get on with your other writing. Your other living.

And never, ever, stop moving forward …. except when you look back, just for a moment, with love.

To the present, and the future: ark not required.

To the present, and the future: ark not required.

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About Sheila North

I am an author and ex-journalist, who has written novels, short stories, and poems. I also help facilitate a writers' group. Check me out on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sheila-North/
This entry was posted in mental health, Nostalgia and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Bottling the Past, Building the Present

  1. blahpolar says:

    Nice post. I’ve never thought of my approach to my past as bottling it, but perhaps that’s what it is. My past pops up and unless it’s a positive memory, I tell it to f*** right off. Initially I had to visualise all manner of warlike violence to rid myself of intrusive thoughts and flashbacks, it got easier over time.

    Have I asked you what your PhD is in/about yet? Bipolar meds are hitting my memory particularly hard at the moment.

  2. sjn25 says:

    No, you haven’t. And I don’t have one. Just a lowly bachelor’s in journalism & Spanish.

    • sjn25 says:

      Wonder if you’ve mixed me up with another blogger? The only “Doctor” to my name is in the phrase “‘Doctor Who’ fan”. ; )

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