Reflect on your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.-- Charles Dickens
A new year begins and, as usual, I find myself living in the future -- as opposed to the present.
This "outlier" blog was set up months ago, but tonight's is my first entry. Watching an inspirational made-for-television movie reminded me that some of the most powerful forces in my life operate, most of the time, in my subconscious.
One of the more powerful proofs of this reality comes when -- as in this evening's movie -- someone's young wife or daughter dies.
Before I remember that my own losses -- one in each category -- were triggering the response, I'm surprised when my eyes mist and my throat tightens. During the first 45 years of my life I believe I never cried at a movie -- in fact, I believe it's accurate to say that, until that fairly advance point in my life, grief was a rather theoretical emotion for me.
The movie -- which, of course, is a contrived event often intended to "tug at heartstrings" -- generates an unjustified or false response. But when I recognize that I'm really reacting to actual events, the impact is magnified. Real grief resurfaces and the misting and tightening sometimes leads me down a now-familiar path ending in self-pity.
My motivation for finally attempting to make a go with this new blog is to devote some energy into addressing hidden demons -- and hopefully into uncovering some buried angels.
More than once during the now-seventeen years that have come since the advent of angst (I mean sorrow, but like the alliteration in "advent of angst" and only found 18 hits when I Googled it) I've tried to complete a transition that I refer to as a "return to life" (borrowed from Dickens' "recalled to life" from A Tale of Two Cities).
The author originally intended to use the "recalled" phrase as the novel's title. It remained the heading for the first section. Most folks "recall" (sorry) the first sentence ("It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,"). Dickens' recalling is not only about transition, it is about resurrection.
My previous blog was inspired by Steinbeck and documented (after a fashion) a year-long trek around North America ( Wandering Dave ); perhaps I'll use Dickens' ToTC for this new effort.