Thursday, August 2, 2012

August 2: Strangest Quality, Very Wonder, Past

Even this, though, when Scrooge looked at it with increasing steadiness, was not its strangest quality.  For as its belt sparkled and glittered now in one part and now in another, and what was light one instant, at another time was dark, so the figure itself fluctuated in its distinctness:  being now a thing with one arm, now with one leg, now with twenty legs, now a pair of legs without a head, now a head without a body:  of which dissolving parts, no outline would be visible in the dense gloom wherein they melted away.  And in the very wonder of this, it would be itself again; distinct and clear as ever.

That's a pretty frightening description of the Ghost of Christmas Past.  It's not at all like the incarnations portrayed in the various movie adaptations.  Usually, the Ghosts of Christmas Past in the movies are matronly old women or very old men.  No film has ever captured the particular horror of the above paragraph.  If I didn't know that passage was written by Charles Dickens, I could be convinced it was written by H. P. Lovecraft.  It's that strange.

But the past is that strange.  In some ways, it is a ghost with many heads and arms and legs.  At the end of his time with the Ghost of Christmas Past, Scrooge has this impression:  He turned upon the Ghost, and seeing that it looked upon him with a face, in which in some strange way there were fragments of all the faces it had shown him, wrestled with it.  There's Scrooge, wrestling with his past.

I don't really have a point this morning.  As the summer winds down, I get sort of reflective.  August makes me think of the coming autumn.  Going back to school.  Birthdays.  Halloween.  Christmas.  New Year's.  Time seems to pass so quickly.  With my daughter away at camp, I've been thinking about her as an infant and toddler.  I miss her younger self (not that I don't love the young lady she is now).  I don't miss my younger self.  Too much crap happened in my life when my daughter was younger.  I don't want to go through all that again.  But I loved when my daughter was tiny and dependent on me, when I would pick her up easily, and carry her to bed.

If I were to choose a time to return to, I would choose when my wife was pregnant with our daughter.  That was before bipolar, before sexual addiction.  That was all anticipation and happiness.  For me, that's one of the golden times of my life, all gauzy and wonderful.

Saint Marty would wrestle a ghost with a thousand heads to return to that time for a little while.

Care to wrestle with this mutha?

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