Still and Alls

Still and Alls [1]

I sit here alone today, remembering the best of times, when Billy and Alex and Edward where very young and although what we had seemed little, happiness somehow engulfed us.

Then my mood changes and I become more deeply reflective, wondering where it’s all gone.  Time has a way of doing that; — or does it?  Is everything safely locked away in our souls, imperishably, instants crystalized among others merely calcified?

And then the still and alls arrive and I start twisting between ecstasy and despair:

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t worried about something and deeply insecure about the future although in all honesty I have to admit to flares of dazzling happiness now and again; like every time Diana arrived at the barracks, unexpectedly; when I passed the bar exam on my first try; each time I was admitted to a new university (although not when I graduated, that was always accompanied by melancholy and trepidation); and, of course, most of all, when my sons where born.

Still and all, my most intense memories are of painful things, when an inner cold chilled my soul and a profound nausea overwhelmed me, making me feel as though I were dropping into an endless chasm, and perhaps I was; and of my revulsion at the perceived unfairness of it all.  But somehow I’ve survived and in hindsight, more often than not I’ve thrived; much more often than not, and some of my best moments where in those instants when feeling fulfilled, I had the grace to thank whatever gods may be for my good fortune.

In hindsight, I’m always most proud of the me who, in the face of disaster, somehow found the courage, one step at a time, to survive another day, another hour, another instant.  And that somehow, in the face of so many setbacks, I had the courage to remain true to my convictions.  In the end, the latter may be all I’ll have left but somehow, if I can manage it, that’ll be enough.

This doesn’t make much sense does it?  No, no it doesn’t but that’s the reality: the incongruity between my memories, my feelings and the panorama I’ve left behind.

I wonder if it’s this way for most of us.

[1] © Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Manizales, 2010; all rights reserved