Brain Food #660

The past suffers too

Thoughts of the day

As we spend our days speeding ahead, do we stop and try to conserve the past?

Often, poetry does not need to provide answers, but to serve as an avenue of exploring questions. What if our past worries that it may be forgotten?

When we view the past as an entity that suffers like humans do, much more than the indifferent present, we become more open to it. We can view the past as our connection to the world, no matter how painful it may have been at times. Though we cannot rewrite the past, it is our past that brought us to where we are today. And still, we tend to be unfair to it, leaving it behind for something that is yet to arrive.

While we carry the past within us, the present is external to us, indifferent, the future even more so. This indifference can be both daunting and liberating; we often worry about what the world will think of us, but instead, it never fails to remind us of our insigificance. Our insignificance itself frees us to go after what we truly want - as long as we remember where we came from.


The Past Suffers Too
by Ben Purkert

The bumper sticker says Live In The Moment! on a Jeep
that cuts me off. I’m working to forget it, to let go
of everything but the wheel in my hands,
as a road connects two cities without forcing them
to touch. When I drive by something, does it sway
toward me or away? Does it slip into the past
or dance nervously in place? The past suffers
from anxiety too. It goes underground, emerging
once in a blue moon to hiss. I hear the grass never
saying a word. I hear it spreading its arms across
each grave & barely catch a name. My dying wish
is scattering now before every planet. I want places to
look forward to. Listen: the earth is a thin voice
in a headset. It’s whispering breathe... breathe...
but who believes in going back?


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