Monday, April 21, 2008

Living Through The Past

I've had the privilege of listening to a few snippets of Colby Stead's forthcoming album and it has helped me come to one very basic conclusion I'm sure most of you have already known. It's about the concept of "living in the past." Primarily I've thought of people who live in the past as underachievers who never got to live the dream and are somehow unable to let it go: The basketball player who revels in his glory days and is determined to prove himself, even at the expense of friends and neighbors, at in the local community ball tournament. The mother who never achieved herself and pushes her daughter through years of dance classes so she can live vicariously through the performances, even though her daughter would rather be conducting science experiments. Living in the past.

But it really goes beyond all that. Sports are one thing, but abuse, guilt projection, and suicide are another. It can be a harmful cycle, the past becoming one big snake eating it's own tail. I didn't really consider further implications of the idea until listening to this music. Everyone must somehow reconcile themselves with their own past if they want to live a healthy life. That means finding truth through your own mistakes, and sometimes through the mistakes of others who have wronged you or ones you love. It is so easy to get hung up on those moments of pain or dreams that never were. In fact, getting hung up on them is probably a necessary part of healing. But unless you can somehow move through it and get to the perspective of the other side I'm not so sure a complete catharsis can occur. I'm not even sure how that bridge is actually built. But I am sure that the whole process is a forgiveness of sorts and that it requires large amounts of bravery and honesty. I admire people who can do it--live in spite of the past. Live through the past.

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