S is for Silver Spring #atozchallenge #amwriting

#AtoZChallenge 2018 S

 

The Past Recedes

Something hurt today.

I returned home. Silver Spring.

I don’t recognize my house. The neighbors I grew up with have gone.

I can still see Joan, sweeping her sidewalk, her drive, with a long broom. An excuse to socialize with passing neighbors. She was a beautiful soul wrapped in a Pillsbury body. A jolly laugh. I sometimes wished she was my mother. Mea culpa. She passed far, far too soon.

A neighbor mocked her once because she swept her sidewalk, not understanding her need to be part of the world, and my opinion of him flew southward. How does someone mock a woman who’s good, sensitive, sweet? Seeking relationship with the world?

My house has grown an addition, so I no longer recognize it. Painted in white. The landscape strange, irregular. I wonder if they’ve pulled the pink and white phlox from the garden? Does the house still echo with Patrick’s “Chicago” obsession? What memories does it hold? Does it resonate with the angry thrashings of my parents? My mother’s tears? My father’s closeted sexuality?

Nostalgia breeds a layer of discontent. I see a picture of his ex. Blonde at 70. White, white teeth. She’s still beautiful. Am I? Someone said I had a good soul. Is that enough? There are people who love me, who I’ve abandoned because I’ve become lost.

When you lose yourself, what is left?

Maybe I’m lucky because I have tomorrow. I believe. Tomorrow is a gift we only receive as we awaken to sunlight streaming.

Sleep calls, summoning dreams, of youth, a house once thriving with my memories, now silenced to me. But my life goes on. Another place, seemingly far away. Here.

 

end

Sascha Darlington 4/21/2018

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13 replies »

  1. not sure how but you’ve managed to get that atmosphere of dreamy regret when we revisit earlier versions of our self – I guess it’s engendered by living forward and learning backward in life

    • Thank you. I love that phrase of yours: living forward and learning backward. So thought-provoking. I feel as if, when we reach a certain age, that we catch up with ourselves thought-wise. Or at least I’ve convinced myself of it. Perhaps because we’re living each day and not trying to hurry through them looking for something better.

      Sorry for the delayed reply. 🙂

  2. A great narrative journey, Sascha. Reminds me that behaviors become normalized in communities, without seeing the light of morality or even being looked at all. I sweep my sidewalk. Oh wait on, there isn’t one. When you lose yourself, nothing is lost, because there is no self to feel lost. I just made that up, sorry.

    • You know, if I removed a couple of words, I would swear that you wrote a poem above. You just can’t help it, can you? 😉
      Interesting idea of behaviors, normalization and morality, especially in current times when morality seems to be more than slightly lost.
      Fortunately I currently don’t feel lost. But then I wouldn’t because there isn’t a me to be lost? 🙂 I feel like I may be entering Plato territory….it was Plato, right?

      Thanks, Steve. I apologize for the late reply. 🙂

      • All good, Sascha. I’m getting later and later with everything. I read Coetzee’s “Slow Man,” a while ago, and I’m pretty sure that I’m slower.

        I’m almost certain I can help it, 🙂 but, you know, monkeys with typewriters eventually write Shakespeare, so maybe it was my turn. 🐒

        Yes, if you’re lost then you’re not there are you? When I’m lost I look between the cushions on the sofa, that’s where I usually turn up.

        I was being a bit too silly for Plato. The big philosophical question of the self, on the other hand, I know very little about. Buddhists go with no-self, but that also seems complicated. 🐒

    • Thanks, Deb. I love your idea, I think you’re right. The people we knew and admired, if allowed, will continue to shape us. Such an amazing thought.

      Sorry for the late reply. 🙂

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