turn-back_ClockAmerica turned back the clock this past weekend, dropped a new battery into smoke detectors and grabbed an extra hour of sleep. Yet as progress moves forward, there are times when many would love turn back the clock.

In the days of yesteryear, to set an an old clock back an hour, you’d actually have to manually wind 11 hours forward. Most found a simpler way – just stop the pendulum for an hour and restart it.  So the notion of starting and stopping a clock, moving forward or backward in time, takes on new hues.

Still, whether we move forward to set a clock backwards or backwards to move forward, I have several wishes.

  • I wish we could turn the clock back on America’s financial crisis, food insecurity, the Iraqi and Afghanistan war and the war on women. In America, we have a long tradition of making common cause in the public sphere, working together for such items as religious freedom, the rights of labor, immigrants and the poor, and much more. Yet in recent years collaborative efforts have been clouded by disagreements. Progressives on both sides have failed to look unto the continuing process of dialogue and reconciliation and are unable to lift the veils and clear the road forward.
  • I wish I could wind back many relationships. Karen, Kelly, my family and coworkers could benefit from the newer me, whose insight has crept past youth’s weaknesses raging within. I wish they could see and understand the new mature me, see me as a person of love and honesty versus the shell of the man whose live hindered so many.
  • I wish I could have wound back Father Time further, for those voices who’ve become faint. Ah, to have one more day in the sun with a black Labrador retriever ‘Deek’ my childhood companion; to sit quietly listening to the purr of Figaro or to have another hour of playful bliss with Cougarman from a decade ago. Both cats were wonderfully beautiful people.
  • Is it possible to return to those we’ve lost? There’s Laurie, whom our high school lost at age 16. Then Ms. K., whom was lost nearly a year ago this Thanksgiving. There’s Lionel, Sgt. Vogel, Johnny, Quentin, Teresa, Jessica, Ethel May, Edward P., and a host of others who’ve seem to have come and gone like many before. Why can I not remember them more?

In reality, our life tells a story. I have no idea what it is and you may not either. But trust me, your life has the power to shatter all illusions about who you thought you were and reintroduce you instead to who you already know you are. This is extremely powerful.

Longing for the past may be admirable, but it’s impossible. It’s just not possible. I’ve yet to find no one-way to reconcile the past. But the place to begin is by cultivating the love within each memory – of yourself, others, and of the flow of life. When you do so, you start to notice that every single day, you are continuously cycling in and out of moments of falling in love. Both the past and present become continually present, shifting toward you and away, each one a tiny lesson on how to be fully alive.

Yes it’s ok to wish to turn back the clock. But live today and for the future.