It’s time, I tell myself, as I sit, quiescent, surrounded by memories collated and boxed in the construct of my mind. Shoes scuff noisily on the dusty floor as I slowly rise to take one last look around the old place, dust bunnies cavorting, unchecked, at my feet.
Reminiscent echoes bounce off the walls, the acoustics altered since the rooms were emptied. No more the thunderous recoil of deafening sorrow, just a soft pitched lament to all the things that were.
Without the obstruction of heavy curtain coverings, the windows allow in a stream of light, and I draw silly faces on the glass, scrawling a juvenile ‘Flutterby woz ere’ crudely above, laughing as I do, enjoying the freedom I have finally afforded myself to do with it, this past of mine, as I will. Illumination provides an alternate perspective as I lay my hand, palm flat, against the wall, noting the absence of negative vibrations. Instead I feel…….nothing.
I don’t know what I expected, but it’s strangely soothing, this residual silence.
No ghosts lurking, no intimidatory force waiting to pounce.
It’s simply empty, naturally so.
It’s tempting, when one’s past is littered with fear and abject desperation, to allow it to define you, become you, to shape and alter the course of your journey, to make misery and anguish your home, a place to permanently reside whilst stubbornly holding onto the pain. And I did that for a while. I lived it, breathed it, used it as my shield, keeping allcomers at bay with a snarl and a ‘you can’t possibly understand’. I painted everything black, and hid in the dark. But the paintwork has all but flaked off now, the surface beneath has begun to heal. This house doesn’t need me here anymore.
But what does one do with one’s past when the decision is made to move on?
Does it require a period of mourning where one has to wear black and carry a hanky for the sake of show, pointedly and dramatically waving it whenever anyone approaches?
Do you simply discard it at the side of the road like an old shoe, prompting passers by to utter ‘who the fuck left that there?’ as they go about their day?
Do you construct a funeral pyre and burn it viking stylee, sending it out to sea never to be seen again?
Or do you simply lock the door behind you and step, freshly unencumbered, along the newly laid path, putting the key somewhere safe just incase you remember something you forgot to pack away?
I don’t know the answer to this, I’m still learning to walk without the weight and burden of this historical albatross around my neck.
I’m not so naive that I expect there to be no backward glances, no times when circumstance will dictate that a shadow appears in my reflection, there’s nothing I can do to change what occurred.
I don’t have to live it anymore, there’s no law, written or otherwise, which states that I must allow it to control me because of this.
I listen to His words
“But that’s all in the past now”
as I lie, despairing, in His arms and realise He’s right, it is all in the past…..it has no business marring and being a part of my future.
So I place the key in the door one last time, and smile as the lock gently clicks into place.