January 12, 2015
I have just assigned my class a challenge and have presented them with a writing prompt. I’ve told them that I am going to take this challenge with them and so here I am scribbling away on a sheet of ruled paper, toying with my words.
Final chapters, closing doors, clocks ticking away towards a deadline, it seems like so much of our lives is dictated by an overwhelming sense of finality. Everything ends…people leave…friendships fade…and your closest companion could eventually just end up as a coffee cup memory for a day of lazy afternoon reveries.
My biggest grouse against life is that there is no seal of permanence on the things we hold dearest or the relationships that matter most. We invest so much in making memories with people, in the places we go and while doing the things that lead us to a better understanding of who we are. But the thing is, most often they end up as just memories. Sure, they affect us, they change us but then they fade and disappear. Eventually.
Like the yellowing pages of your prized paperback from your teenage years… like mementos buried in tin boxes…like that currency bill you accidently find in the pockets of your old and faded jeans, these memories are sometimes rediscovered. Your joy is palpable…you either squeal in delight at the discovery or smile discreetly as the memory warms up your insides like a hot beverage on a December day. You bask in the afterglow…it envelops you…your mind wanders…and then wonders…where did those years go? I wish I could go back there someday…I wonder where he is…I wonder if she still thinks of me…
I know there is a school of thought that says we’ve got to suck it up and deal with it… deal with life…make the most of the time we’ve got and the people we meet…and then move on. But I wish it was that easy. I guess that’s the reason I love watching TV series and so seldom choose the latest blockbuster instead…there’s continuity there and the story doesn’t just come to a halt after two amd a half hours…it goes on.
I gaze up, the students are still engrossed in their writing, and are stringing words together to make complex sentences…their concentration is visible on their brows. I hear the pleasant swoosh of pen on paper…fingers hacking at keyboards…the music from my laptop plays softly…it’s meant to create mood and induce creativity. It’s such a lovely moment really….will make for a lovely memory too. Then suddenly the school bell rings…the vibrating notes bring us all back to the ragged edges of reality. Time is up…the class is over.
I hear shuffling feet…the thump of laptops being shut…the rustling of papers being hurriedly handed in. The beauty of the preceding moments has vanished like a toffee wrapper in an updraft. The moment has passed.
Everything is just a phase.