New perspectives appear daily,as Mrs Llew and I read her old diaries, not only on our recent past – i.e. the last 10 years, but on the past 50 years.And this crosses over into our dreams as well. Life events and the other homes in which we and our children have lived figure largely. So do our parents and friends, many of them now dead, but they are vibrant and alive in our dreams. Our children are usually young – in our dreams. There is another dimension of time, in our dreams.
Looking back creates a temptation to see things as the script of a play or the text of a novel – and then, ourselves, to write, the last chapter or act. But that really is a snare.
We are old but we can’t know when the final curtain will come down or how many chapters are yet to come. We are not in a book but an exploration. We accept our condition while we are not resigned to it. Yet it is right to deny that we are in denial of that state of resignation. Past and present and our dreams are all now. And now, with our dreams, our memories and all whom our lives have touched, is the seed of our future.
It’s good to look back, to have this time of review of the past, to make peace with it and to pray for the present and the future – maybe to hope for a return to the sunny headlands for all of us, symbolised in the imagery of my early posts in this series. I say imagery because, here and now, even in those idyllic places, our lot must include the thorns and thistles of our human condition.
And it is good to pray for our families and friends living and dead. It is not escapism to look to life here and now, while recognising the value of the healing work of resolution and reconciliation of things past, in Christ. Here and now.
This was written after I awoke this morning with a song in my mind. It was composed by a lifelong friend who achieved considerable fame where he lived, in the Channel Islands, as a writer and composer of musicals. My friend, Ken Fletcher, died last year, aged 75. The song was called ‘Guernsey my Home’. The song lives. My friend’s life lives. In faith I pray that he does.