Mark Antony, Julius caesar by william shakespeare
Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him.
The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones;
So let it be with Caesar.
Hello, friends! I’m listening to Sarah Blasko’s version of “Life On Mars?”, originally by David Bowie. It was recorded shortly after Bowie’s death, and that makes this beautiful song poignant and timely.
It’s strange to think that he’s gone. I only got into Bowie’s music towards the end of his life through a friend or two. I recorded an album based around his song “Heroes” shortly after some events that changed my life. “Modern Love” became the crown jewel of many of my playlists. I think I love his first album the most. “Letter To Hermione” hits me like a punch to the gut. It’s beautiful in a very sad way. “Did you ever call my name just by mistake?” he sings.
Don’t we all ask that at some point? Don’t we all ask that or some variation of it at some point and then that leads us down a rabbit trail of pain and hurt? Most of the time it’s best to not go down that path, to not ask that question.
I’ve asked that question many times, and it never gives me a good answer. A lot of times it just brings me back to where I came from saddled with more baggage than when I started. The anger, shame, and hurt are real. It’s all real. I spent a really long time walking down the paths of “what if?”, even when my life was headed in a positive direction. “What if I mess things up?” “What if he/she/they leave?” “What if I really am as weird/crazy/messed up/selfish/mean/cruel/et cetera as I think I am?” To repeat: going down these paths never ends well.
Thinking about the past usually goes one of two ways for me – I view it with rose-colored glasses as if nothing bad happened during that time in my life, or I see it as the worst time in the world, thereby completely ignoring the reality of the matter – there’s good and bad in every situation. Every. Situation. The past is as it is. We have to bury it, not praise it. The good is “oft interred with [its] bones” in many ways, as the quote say. It’s over. It’s gone. For lack of a better metaphor, remembering the past is a lot like remembering someone who is dead. You can’t change it, you can’t talk to it, you can’t reason with it if you get angry with it. You can only think about it and remember it. That can get very, very painful.
I remember experiencing terrible flashbacks when my mind idled in class for many months after I had a series of harrowing experiences during college. I had no idea what was happening. All I knew was that I would relive these experiences if my mind started to wander over and over again. They were utterly terrifying. They began to haunt my nightmares. Over time, the rosy colored glasses I had once seen that time with turned dark with anger. I wouldn’t always come seeking the past, it would come seeking me. It would find me and pounce. I was haunted by a ghost that was never alive, and that made it more powerful to me. It was an event, you can’t banish that.
Sleep became just as exhausting as being awake, and it remained that way for many years, actually. I still have nightmares about what happened, though they’re few and far between. The flashbacks are also rare. It seems that I learned to banish the ghost, and one of the ways I did that was by getting angry. Very angry. I was very bitter (and likely very inconvenient to deal with) for a long time. I’ve come to realize that that’s perfectly acceptable when something bad happens, no matter how ugly-seeming or inconvenient that makes me. People should be able to feel their emotions and recover on their own schedule.
Eventually, I had a realization looking back on the events that led up to where I am today. It took a very long time to first come to the realization and even longer to put it into words: those awful things that happened to me in the past caused me to question everything. I’m incredibly thankful for that. It sure as hell was a painful process, but it was entirely worth it.
In studying witchcraft literature, I have come across a lot written about banishing unwanted things and cleansing that which you use to keep unwanted things away. It seems that these last few years were a sort of self-cleansing as I subconsciously got ready for this moment. Because of this string of experiences, I would posit now that if I’m going through a lot of pain, I am being prepared for something enormous that I am presently unaware of as I was then.
What kinds of things could I be being prepared for? I know I’ve been asking that quite frequently. I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about and putting a lot of thought into my mission in this life. I have thought about this sort of thing for years, but have been unable to remotely put into words until recently. In light of these thoughts and discoveries, it would be fitting to write a mission statement here.
My mission is to touch one life every day in a positive way.
As I said in a previous post, I can’t always touch many lives in a day. If I can touch only one person’s life, that can impact generations. I will be happy if I’m able to do just that.
“Life On Mars?” has ended, I’m listening to my album. It’s strange how things like that go. I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him…
Thank you for reading!