Thursday, October 8, 2015

No Going Back

It's been quite a while since my last post - a summer hiatus that happened to last into autumn.  Anyway, I'm back.  Back is a fascinating word.  It can be a noun, verb, adverb, or adjective according to good old Merriam Webster. So let's think about going back.

Here's a "Life is Like ..." statement to put with the hundreds of others we've all heard.  "Life is like climbing a huge tree. Each branch is a decision point - left or right.

Generally I don't indulge in reminiscing, in musing about my life, the decisions I've made, branches in my tree.  Partly it's because there's always the seed of regret waiting to germinate in some fertile memory, but mostly it's because memory - mine at least - is unreliable.  It comes in flashes, images that blast into my consciousness with the blinding intensity of a camera flash that leaves me unable to see anything else for an instant.

Whether the metaphor uses forks in a road, branches in a tree, or Forrest Gump's "... a box of chocolates" it is a necessary oversimplification of the myriad possible futures that confront us with each decision we make, and it ignores of necessity the possible futures lost to us by that decision.  Once we step through that instant in time our decision is irrevocable.  That instant is now past and changing our mind, taking the other path, presents a new future on a different time line.

It makes every step we take an adventure because we can't go back.

This is another example of how my mind works at three in the morning.