Good Memories?

(Written in February 2010)
I’ve noticed the last couple of days that when I’m with people I’m fine, when I’m alone I have odd fragmentary feelings or memories and they are all filled with a kind of dull pain, perhaps the sense that I’ve wasted my life.  I suspect that they are flashbacks to times when I was a child and the life ahead of me looked pretty empty.  I remember that feeling from evenings in Maine when Mom & Dad were out and I’d fed the kids & put them to bed, and then I felt lonely and hopeless.  I called it “that twilight feeling.” Now I recognize it as depression.  I didn’t feel like I had any gifts or talents that other people might want, or that could become a life’s work.

I guess part of the sense that I have “wasted my life” may be because I have so few good memories.  I imagine that if I’d had a fulfilling life that I would have a storehouse of good memories.  I suppose it’s because many old memories are darkened by depression, happy moments from my relationship with Dana got undercut by the divorce.  I think that there have certainly been good dance programs — some of them are in my resource book.  I think of teaching Issos to about 70 people at Circle Dance Camp, and leading the long line at Findhorn.  Maybe I should really make an effort to remember some good things.

The session with Caryn was very low key.   I told her about my feeling that my life had been wasted because I didn’t have a storehouse of good memories.  She asked “What would the Buddha say?” and I laughed.  He’d say right now is all that matters.

A few days ago I started doing Martha Beck’s idea of writing your life backwards. (Martha Beck, Steering by Starlight)  Mine starts like this: “Because I was destined to build a Temple for Dance, and conduct its ceremonies, celebrate the wheel of the year and the diversity of human creativity — I was traumatized in infancy.  Because I was traumatized, I did not trust my alcoholic parents’ narrow social world.  I needed something deeper and truer.”   As I went on to describe the parts of my life that led me to building Neskaya, I realized that I have LOTS of good memories!  How delightful!

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