Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Being Here, Being There.

I've been thinking about airplanes. I've been dreaming about both my family back in Kansas and my family here with me. A lot. I've been feeling guilty for not being financially able to go back for Christmas. Nothing to be done to help that now. The truth is, I haven't been back in over two years. It all gets to be a complicated set of thoughts and feelings. This weighs on me heavily this time of year.

There is a shape, a taste in the mind, a physical feeling that goes along with some emotions. These are some of those. Both curious and lovely as well as both painful and pleasant, these sensations of mind and body and soul.

It's about those strongest of family ties. It's about memories. It's about hopes and fears and all those years bridging time and space between childhood and now, on into the future too, as perhaps no other season or holiday does.

Curious because it taps into and touches on thoughts and ideas about time and space. These things are always present, and somewhat of a quandary to me.

Sure I understand distance and I understand basic concepts of time. But really deep down inside, where something about those tickle something in my mind, I know there are mysteries involved.

Here is here and there is there. Now is now and Then was then. That's all there is to it, right? Except it's really
not all there is to it. Not in the deep places of the heart and mind. Here and now are constantly permeated by there and then. Sometimes I even think by there and now, but that's purely imagination, right? How could I possibly be remembering there, now when I'm here now?

That is some of the lovely part of it, that memories of back home and times with my folks and my brothers are things I carry with me always. To feel, to see, and to taste and hear and smell.
I keep the best times close to the center, and when I want or they want, they come back to the fore. I remember a lot. Sometimes I believe I remember everything. I recall the good and the bad, happy and sad and all points in between. But not really. Not fully. Not like one feels the moment at hand because well, that was then and this is now.

And that's part of where the pain comes in, yearning as they say, to bring back those moments to their completeness of experience. The pain is knowing that those can never be fully seen and heard and felt in this time, with this mind.

But I am tremendously thankful and happy to have the memories I do have, however imperfect or incomplete, to carry me back to there and to then.

I am not alone here. I have my family here as well, the "new" family, the one I've brought with me and the one I helped build here. I do revel in the times and the moments we have here as well. I know that some day my current here and now will be another "there and then". And so I try, as best I can, to soak it all in to build the memories I will have of this later, knowing that my recollections will again be imperfect, incomplete.

Here is my point: Pay Attention. Soak it all in, consciously, mindfully, purposely.

The more you do so, the better you will recall later I think. Why would I think that? Because that has been my experience. When I tell my self to do those things, to pay attention and remember, I find later that I do remember better. Sometimes it happens on it's own. I hear myself thinking "I will remember this moment for the rest of my life" and so far mostly I think I have.

This may not work for you. I'm sure it doesn't always work for me. Sometimes there's just too much going on to be able to grasp it all.

As I go through this holiday season with my family here I know I will be split in two. I'll be trying to find my balance between living and experiencing these moments here and now and reaching through time and space to be with my family there and then, perhaps even there and now.

My wish for you all is that you have the best of times, make the best of memories, with whom ever you can this season.

And oh yeah, take more pictures.