If there is one thing I have learned over the past few years it is this; that even when you seem to have reached the end, even when you think you can not go on another day, or all your hopes and dreams have been dashed, when you hurt so bad you don’t think you can stand the pain, because of some thing from the past (after all if it happened yesterday it is from the past); it is never over, not as long as you are breathing. Every morning that you open your eyes is another chance to rewrite your life.
I listen to CBC radio everyday, I like the interviews they do and it keep me in touch with the outside world. Today they were talking about aging and referred to the poem below. I Googled Robert Frost “Do you have hope for the future” and the poem at the bottom of this post is what came up. Not only did the poem strike a cord with me, but the stories that followed. We never know what the future is going to do to our past.
It was very profound for me, I can relate so well. The albatrosses I put on my son’s shoulders, one’s he never should have had to bear.
My son is moving back to BC and his friends took him out for a goodbye dinner on the weekend. This is the text message he sent me from the restaurant along with a picture of him with a man. “this is Brian (not his real name) he has been my adoptive dad since I moved here, family dinners etc. he’s as amazing guy.” (funny how that happens where ever Kris goes, men step up and want to become his surrogate father)
My reply was, “That’s nice he’s there. He’s a brave man volunteering to be your dad. 🙂 Just kidding Hon.”
He said, “He is demanding I introduce you two lol”
Me “LOL why, to give me shit?”
Kris’s reply, “No, because I brag how amazing my mother is and he wants to meet that amazing lady” lol
Me, “Aaawwwwwwwww that’s so sweet. What a good kid you are.”
My point? It wasn’t that long ago I was so ashamed of myself and how I handled certain situations with JC and my boy and I was sure Kris would never forgive me and I had scarred him forever. For that matter I thought his father not being in his life when he was growing up was going to leave horrible scars. Yes he suffered from his father’s neglect, he suffered from my mistakes but life has a way of providing the means to heal, or God does. You never know what the future holds and it isn’t until you are in the future that the past makes sense and can take on a whole new meaning. What the future brings can turn a horrible event in your life into a blessed event. I know it to be true in so many areas of my life.
I struggle with believing that when I am going through whatever trauma but; God, the powers that be, karma, who ever is in control up, never let me down and they won’t let you down either.
You will survive and you will thrive, you just have to believe the future will heal the past.
Thanks, Robert Frost
by David Ray
Poem: “Thanks, Robert Frost” by David Ray, from Music of Time: Selected and New Poems. © The Backwaters Press. Reprinted with permission.
Thanks, Robert Frost
Do you have hope for the future?
someone asked Robert Frost, toward the end.
Yes, and even for the past, he replied,
that it will turn out to have been all right
for what it was, something we can accept,
mistakes made by the selves we had to be,
not able to be, perhaps, what we wished,
or what looking back half the time it seems
we could so easily have been, or ought…
The future, yes, and even for the past,
that it will become something we can bear.
And I too, and my children, so I hope,
will recall as not too heavy the tug
of those albatrosses I sadly placed
upon their tender necks. Hope for the past,
yes, old Frost, your words provide that courage,
and it brings strange peace that itself passes
into past, easier to bear because
you said it, rather casually, as snow
went on falling in Vermont years ago.
Literary and Historical Notes:
It’s the birthday of one of the most important folklorists in American history, Alan Lomax, (books by this author) born in Austin, Texas (1915). (Some sources give his birthday as January 15.) His father, John Lomax, was one of the first people ever to travel around the American South to write down the lyrics of folk songs sung by ordinary people in saloons and on back porches. It was John Lomax who discovered a folksong that became known as “Home on the Range.” By the time Alan Lomax was born, his father had taken a banking job to support the family. But he lost that job during the Great Depression, and in 1933, he applied for a grant to start collecting folk songs for the Library of Congress. Alan was 18 years old and the time, and he went along as an assistant.
They got in their beat-up old Ford with a tent and a 500-pound recording machine and went off to scour the prisons, plantations, and lumber camps, looking for songs. One of the stops they made on that first trip was Angola prison, and it was there that they first recorded a barrel-chested man with a beautiful deep voice, who went by the name of Leadbelly and introduced them to songs like “Goodnight Irene” and “Rock Island Line.”
Alan’s father would go on to become the first curator of the Archive of American Folk Song in the Library of Congress, but it was Alan would do most of the collecting. He traveled all over, recording everything from church singers to voodoo ceremonies. Unlike other musicologists, Lomax always tried to get the best recording equipment available. And even though he was recording on the fly in the field, he was careful about microphone placement and did everything he could to capture a high-quality sound.
He was one of the first people to record Woody Guthrie and helped get him a recording contract. In 1941, he went on a quest to try to find the legendary bluesman Robert Johnson, only to find that Johnson was already dead. But along the way, he made the first recording of a bluesman who called himself Muddy Waters. Waters later said that it was hearing the recording that Lomax had made that persuaded him to pursue a career in music.
Lomax also wrote numerous books about folk music and, in 1993, published a memoir of his early life called The Land Where the Blues Began.
It’s the birthday of Norman Mailer, (books by this author) born in Long Branch, New Jersey (1923). His novel The Naked and the Dead (1948) became the definitive literary novel about World War II, and it made Norman Mailer famous at the age of 25. His next two novels flopped, and critics said that he had failed to live up to his promise as a writer. He was depressed by the bad reviews he had gotten, and he decided that he would take a break from trying to write the great American novel. Instead he wrote one of the most confessional books that had been published up to that time, Advertisements for Myself (1959), about his own ambitions and fears.
Mailer became a regular and controversial guest on late-night talk shows, trying to stir people up against conformity. He also helped invent a new style of journalism, in which the journalist himself was a character in his own stories. He used that style in his bookThe Armies of the Night (1968), which won the Pulitzer Prize for non-fiction.