The Past Doesn’t Matter

WARNING: PROFANITY WITH NO APOLOGY

The old proverb of ‘Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it’ gets trotted out so much that I see it as a tired old horse that needs to be put out to pasture. Because not only are a lot of humans freaking dumb-asses who can’t even learn how to take a shit properly, they don’t care to learn about doing do so in the first place. And most of all, they don’t give a damn about the past when they do awful things like others have done before.

This thought came to me as I see people trotting out tired old horses like the proverb above and also ‘well, this was done by so-and-so’ and ‘they did bad things, too’.

No one can go back and change the past so if anyone throws past shit on the table during a discussion, it needs to be cleared off the table and thrown in the trash. Because bringing up the past is just digging through the garbage to try to bring something back to life that’s dead.

I think people look to the past because they don’t want to face the present in all its’ shitty glory (insert sarcasm here). Yes, I can look back on my past and think fondly of it. But I can also look back and say what my mother used to say: “The good old days sucked.” And there are things in my past that I would rather not talk about, nor relive because I learned some pretty shitty lessons about people and life in general back then. But now I am working my butt off not to live by that shit. Every time in my mind when I feel a bit of regret and start to do ‘would’ve-could’ve-should’ve’ as my father used to call it, I shut it down and tell myself to focus on the here and now.

Yes, I freely admit that I live in the present. I live without a safety net so to speak, and without a lot of money right now, either. I survive, yes, but in that survival I’ve learned more about living than in my previous forty-four years. And I’ve learned that if I want to solve my problems, I need to focus on the here-and-now and what I can do today. Because looking to my past sure as hell hasn’t solved any of my problems so why should I look there for answers to the present?

So in the larger context of the world around us, let’s quit trying to dodge the problem by saying ‘oh we need to learn from the past in order not to do this again’, or ‘someone else did this before so why all the fuss now?’ The second is even more full of bullshit than the first one. How in the freaking hell does a past action by someone cause a present problem? If someone fucked up before, yeah they’ll probably fuck up again. But what if they’re not fucking up now, but someone else is? Why not go after the someone else in the present doing the fucking up?

Now, I will admit here that you can look back at decisions made and decide not to make those same decisions again. I strongly believe that we can all make different decisions than we have before, and that we can make different decisions than those of people around us, even ones that hurt us. And as long as your decision is not causing harm, it’s not wrong. And if someone doesn’t like that, tell them to kiss your ass then fuck off. This tit-for-tat, past-versus-present bullshit is just that, total bullshit because these face-offs over past and present don’t accomplish a damn thing. It’s a tactic used to divert someone from making a decision for themselves, and not facing a present issue head-on.

Yes, I’m sure we’ve all fucked up in the past. I know I sure as hell have. And I could say I did the best I could with what I had to work with, and what I knew then, and blah, blah, blah. But I can’t go back and change things since I haven’t discovered time-travel and you know what, I don’t want to. I know very well that life isn’t perfect, but I believe we can always move forward unless we’re dead and buried.

And I think this is why I’m having trouble looking back on things and writing about them now. I’m so focused on the present that the past is losing its’ hold on me. And it feels good, real good in fact.

So my advice to anyone reading this would be to break those chains that you’ve given to the past, and don’t use the past as a way of avoid dealing with the present.

Mother and Child Reunion

On Sunday evenings I listen to re-broadcasts of the old American Top 40 Countdown shows and if you remember listening to those, you know that there were segments called ‘Long Distance Dedications’. Most were from people wanting to acknowledge individuals who had made a difference in their lives, but one man wrote in with a different story. His dedication was to the men he was imprisoned with, and who were being executed every morning at dawn.

In his letter he told how he’d been arrested on drug-trafficking charges in South Africa (this was the early 1980’s) and while in prison awaiting trial, every night the other prisoners, black South African men, would sing and dance all night long before they were executed in the morning. These men were mostly political prisoners, prisoners of conscience whose only crimes were being black and speaking out against the apartheid system of government in South Africa then. The songs they sang and danced to were by black South African artists except for one: “Mother and Child Reunion” by Paul Simon, a white American artist.

The reason this song and this story come to mind is what’s happening right here and now in the United States with children being taken from their mothers as they arrive at the border fleeing the violence, poverty, and oppression in their home countries. Those men in South Africa had mothers, too, mothers who might not have known where their sons were, or that they were going to die. The pain of a mother knows no limits, yet mothers are the ones who are targeted by the most evil of regimes. Mothers throughout human history have had their children taken from them, from Jewish children in Nazi Germany, to Native children in Australia, Canada, and the United States (yes, there were Stolen Generations here in the US, just like Australia and Canada), and now here at our borders.

But let’s not talk about the past but about the present, the Here and Now we all live in, and the Hell that is the Here and Now for the mothers at the border detention centers hearing the cries of their children, and crying for them in return.

Reunite the Mothers and Children

#KeepFamiliesTogether

And may all who act on this atrocity face justice in this life, and the next.

Happy Endings

When I told my father I wanted to write romance novels he said, “Good. The world needs happy endings.”

I believe this is true now more than ever because seeing a happy ending, like Prince Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle today, is a reminder that there is good in this world. It’s love triumphing over hate, over pain and suffering, and cynicism and indifference. And it’s a reminder that no matter what happens in life, it will go on.

The eternal optimist in me has never given up completely on life. Yeah, I can get down, and pissy, and flat-out mad as hell sometimes, but in the end I know and passionately believe love will triumph over hate. So when people put down romance and happily ever after’s, whether in fiction or real-life, I want to tell them to stuff that. And not just because I don’t like put-downs of something I hold very near and dear to my heart, but because I think it’ss an act of defiance to believe in the good of this world when there are people who are doing their dead-level best to destroy it. And I’m not just talking about blowing us all to kingdom come, but to divide us into have’s and have not’s, to keep us separated along lines of race, religion, and other barriers that are the constructs of people without hope and compassion in their hearts.

Because believing in love means having compassion, empathy, and kindness towards others. True love looks past the surface to the heart and soul of a person. It’s why true love isn’t limited by skin color, religion, or any other barrier the butt-holes of the world try to throw up. Love doesn’t build walls but tears them down.

So to keep it short and sweet today: the world needs happy endings because love does win. Always.