Thus, the transitoriness of our existence in no way makes it meaningless. But it does constitute our responsibleness; for everything hinges upon our realizing the essentially transitory possibilities. Man constantly makes his choice concerning the mass of present potentialities; which of these will be condemned to nonbeing and which will be actualized? Which choice will be made an actuality once and forever, an immortal "footprint in the sands of time"? At any moment, man must decide, for better or for worse, what will be the monument of his existence. Usually, to be sure, man considers only the stubble field of transitoriness and overlooks the full granaries of the past, wherein he had salvaged once and for all his deeds, his joys and also his sufferings. Nothing can be undone, and nothing can be done away with. I should say having been is the surest kind of being.
I had a good conversation with The Russian recently about heartbreak. He was telling me about a girl he loved (who did not love him anymore). She had found someone else. He sat across me in the back of a dimly lit hole in the wall, sipping on a beer.
"I can't decide if the past is this thing that's forever gone, as in, nothing, or if it's this thing we'll carry with us always."
These words stuck with me. I could not reconcile these two poles. Some days I feel like what happened, no matter how precious to us, exists as nothing more than a fading memory. Other times the memories are so vivid, so strong, they're overpowering, they are present, we are present, recycling the emotions we once had over and over and over again.
So then - is the past gone forever, or does it last forever?
I think the answer is both.
Indeed, such is the paradox of those we loved - our togetherness no longer exists, yet stands still as a pure memory, fixed and immutable.
As long as you remember them, some people will stay with you forever. They will be with you always. The memories take on a life of their own, sustaining themselves. Even forgetting them doesn't change the fact, that, for a time, you two loved one another. For a time, she was yours, and you were hers. There is a brute, wonderful simplicity to that fact. Let it sit with you for a moment. In moments of sadness it will bring you peace.
It came to an end, but it will always have happened. Even when both of you are dirt in the ground, the past stands forever, unaffected by the sands of time.
At the end of your days, give thanks.
What you have experienced, no power on earth can take from you.
people I admire
Bret Easton Ellis