Tag Archives: Past


Nostalgia: From Greek ‘nostos’-returning home + ‘algos’- pain

Memories can contain truth and still be a lie
And we can be homesick for a home that was never ours
Sometimes the picture of the past is painted in the brushstrokes of nostalgia
Wide strokes that blur the sharper points of reality, dulling the story
Concealing the jagged edges of pain, sorrow and regret
Choosing colors far more vibrant for the memory than the sepia past
Caught walking backwards on a road that continually pulls us forward
Oblivious to the pitfalls and potential of the present or the promise of the future
Bent on returning to a home far smaller than we imagine in our minds
And a past that never was, at least not quite the way we remember
For our memories can contain truth and still be a lie
When the memories of the past overwhelm our imagination for the future
Or our appreciation of the present, then our homecomings will always be sad
Freighted with the expectations that they can never live up to
Loaded with a past too heavy for the ambiguity of the present to stand
We can look into the mirror of our desires trying to create a better past
But perhaps instead of continuing to attempt to touch up the painting of the past
We can begin the new canvas that stands before us blank awaiting our brush

Neil White, 2016

In the Moment

Mechanical Clock by jimking@deviantart.com

Mechanical Clock by jimking@deviantart.com

The past is gone with its joys and sorrows and yet it wants to linger
To corrupt the moment with its unanswered questions and haunted moments
It wants to continue to speak long after its allotted time has passed
It wants to live again and again in that long awaited moment
That kairotic time where grace and possibility have opened up
Where there is no longer the need to seek a better past
Or to live life as an apology for the missteps we make real and imagined
And in the moment I am trying to live and love and dwell
Maybe someday this moment will be an echo of a past gone away
But for now I am in the moment and I am alive
The future also desires to cast its own voice into the moment
Whispering its potentials and possibilities, pitfalls and perils
Filling the space with what ifs, might becomes and the questions of uncertainty
Speaking in harmony with the past it tries to haunt the moment
With the specters of questions that cannot be answered
And may never be asked, if not in the fears of what could be
Yet in this time of grace there is perhaps the courage to listen
To listen primarily to the moment, not ignoring the future and past
But to realize that their voices are meant to complement and not dominate
This moment in which we live, this time where we love
And for the moment we can dance and celebrate and embrace
The life that we know and the gift of each passing moment
Neil White, 2014

The Scars of the Past


We all bear the marks of
Mistakes made that cannot be undone
Hearts broken by betrayal
Regrets of roads not taken
Days when dreams are dashed
False hopes that proved to be illusions
And the wear and tear of life
That left scar tissue in the places
Where we knit ourselves back together

Most days the scars blend into the background
Blending in with the rest of us that is good and whole
Yet, sometimes the scars burn red hot
As old wounds are reopened
As an instant takes us back to the mistakes of yesterday
When our hearts are broken anew
When doors close
When our dreams seem to slip through our fingers
And the wear and tear of life
Tears at the skin still trying to make itself whole again

We all have scars and wounds
We all are in the process of healing
In this journey we call life
Sometimes we are able to bind another’s wounds
Othertimes we can only sit by holding a hand
Praying they will stop wounding themselves
Sometimes all we can see are the scars of the past
Unable to see the living tissue that moves towards tomorrow
But our scars, though they mark us
They do not make us

We walk towards the day when mistakes are forgiven
When hearts are healed by love
When we can choose the road of our destiny
When we dare to chase our dreams again
Where hope does not disappoint
And where the laughter and love of life
Allow us to accept ourselves as we are
As whole, even able to accept the beauty
Of the scars of the past

Neil White, 2013

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com

Looking Back

Looking back through the photos of another lifetime ago
Looking at this young man with the belief that he will go out and conquer the world
That the struggles of the moments are merely obstacles to be overcome
And the conflicts that will arise in the future are merely opportunities to test one’s mettle
If he knew the pain and the heartaches that lie ahead
The ways in which everything he knew would be shaken to the core
Would he change course or would he stay the path?

As I look into the eyes of my twenty year old self, captured in pictures two decades old
In the midst of the steely idealism and implacable optimism
With his awkward quietness and fiery intensity
When I look I see both myself then and the person I would become
As I walk through the pictures that mark the years and wonder at each point
Would I make the same decisions again or would I change them

I can see the ways in which each step was less a choice
And more an unfolding of the person I was becoming
For the young man I see in the past is the man I see in the mirror
Minus the experience and knowledge that can only come through the journey
And even the parts of my life I wouldn’t wish on an enemy
I wouldn’t trade for myself for they made me who I am

And without changing who I am and who I was
I would still make the same choices, or at least all the important ones
And still within there is that same steely idealism and implacable optimism
Sometimes the awkward quietness still comes out
Most of the time the fiery intensity remains
Yet the twenty years were not in vain as they stretched and challenged me
Learning love and loss, trust and betrayal
And even when good guys finish last they are still themselves
And so I go to sleep, looking back not seeking a better past
Still hopeful enough to look for a better future

Neil White, 2013

purple rose 01 by picsofflowers.blogspot.com