Planning and remembering are really two sides of the same coin; yet neither one is the coin itself. And as we flip from one side to the other, the coin constantly remains in the middle - never changing.
The Past Arrives
We lost a cherished member of our family this week, and for the many lives he touched this has been a time of somber remembrance; looking hard at what was.
When someone we love and value leaves us, our contact with them seems to be rooted in the past. Moments of every description are remembered as we reach to touch them again.
Yet - in the end - we are always left with the finality of the inevitable arrival of absence. The reality that what was, is no longer.
The Imminence of the Future
Of course, our gaze cannot remain directed behind for too long before we must again turn to what approaches. The coin is flipped. How do we get there? What must we do?
Yet in many respects, when the coin is flipped to what lies ahead - and our thoughts once again become focused on how to get there - in a very real sense we are in the same place as we were a moment before.
Trying to envision what will be is actually quite similar to the effort we make when venturing into what was. In both cases, we are fully absorbed in trying to grasp a now that does not exist.
Spending the Present
What should we take away from our reflections on what is gone? When we try to look into the eyes of those we will never see again - what do we hope to see?
While I accept that there probably is no answer to a question like that - I also realize that knowing this doesn't mean we have nothing to learn from asking.
Perhaps it is nothing more than realizing that what will always lie delicately between the what was, and what will be - is what is. And maybe knowing that that is all we will ever truly have, is as close to an answer as we'll ever be.