Monday, 13 August 2012

Live the Past.

Some recent thoughts of my recent days.

Today marks two weeks until my departure from the Congo.
I suppose that this is the post I now make stating how I can't believe how fast time
has flown by and that I don't know where the days went.
But, that wouldn't be true to say, because I can absolutely believe I've spent nearly 3 months here.
This experience has been so rich and so full.
My life has been deeply affected in a way that takes time,
a careful process where a different way of life has only begun to percolate into my own.
A process of living alongside people for even a little while,
of tasting of the daily bread of their lives,
of catching a glimpse of the types of sunrises and sunsets that begin and end their days.

Soon now though all this shall become just a story,
not one that gathers dust on a bookshelf,
nor one that is picked up to be read again and again,
but one that becomes part of an ongoing, forward turning of the pages.

I've been affected by so many things and have had the opportunity to enter, even if only for brief moments, into the lives of so many new people here
I hope that I have adequately recognized what a privilege it is to write a line, paragraph or page
into another person's story. 
As the pen of my thoughts, words and deeds has touched the paper that is another life,
I hope that my writing has not been sloppy or unintentional.
Did I think about what I would write or did I just let the ink bleed all over the page?
Oh the many pages this time has filled,
and I hope that I have been able to fill those of others with love, hope and faith.


The days already almost begin to feel like times passed.
When I walk familiar roads outside the mission gates
sometime I feel like I'm already walking through my own memories.
I find myself wondering if this shall be a moment, if he shall be a person,
if that shall be a sound that I will think back on, as I walk Canadian streets,
and that I will dearly miss.
When I lie in my own bed, will I think of the night and early morning hours here
where I laid listening to the sounds of the city while trying to keep my
feet from scraping against the mosquito net?
When I sit in my Canadian church, will my thoughts return to the church and choirs here
with the beating of the drums, the movement of the dancers and the intensity of people's prayers?

I'm glad that I am thinking of these things already.
There is the risk of checking out, of course, or leaving this place before I go.
But there is also the possibility of using these thoughts to recognize
that I am still in control of my final days here that will, one day, become old memories.
That the sort of baggage, good or bad, that I'll be carrying around with me later on
I'm packing it today.

People say that you can't change the past,
but I don't fully agree.
Right now I'm choosing and changing the moments that will become my past.
Right now I'm changing my past.

Maybe I actually have more control over my past than my future. 
I can now ask myself: 'If I had that moment again, what would I change about it?',
while I still actually have the ability to make that change. 
While I have the ability to live the memory before losing the moment.

People say not to live in the past.
I agree,
but maybe - if I can say it without sounding like I've spent too much time in the clouds -
maybe we should live the past.
Live the past while we still have it now.
So that we can say we had spent our time under the sun
soaking in life rather than letting its waters just run us by. 
Etching the details of a moment into our minds
by really seeing each color that has been painted into our surroundings,
by noting each texture that has been woven into the fabric of life,
by hearing the inflections of emotion in another person's voice
as we intently listen to their words.

By nurturing the moments so that they may grow into memories deeply rooted in experiences
rich in risks taken, mistakes made, integrity upheld, people loved, faith proudly held firm
and of still, quiet moments where we breathed deep, quiet breaths. 


No comments:

Post a Comment