Burning Yesterdays

Burning Yesterdays


I have a hard time with yesterdays. I hold on to them too long. In fact, the farther away they are, the harder I hold on to them. Sometimes distance makes them seem clearer.

Maybe that's just a trick of the lights.

Occasionally I pull them out of the knapsack of my memory and read them out loud to people. "I remember when...", I say. Sometimes they are entertained. Often times they are bored.

Sometimes even I am bored.

Then, I wonder why I bothered to pull them out in the first place.

For the most part though, they are like precious gems. I take them out, turning them over and over, admiring them. Even giving them a quick polish before tucking them away.

Then there are the yesterdays I carry without even meaning to. Mostly those have to do with anger. Or sadness. Or pain. They stick to my legs and arms like damp sheets of paper and I can't shake them off.

"It is Samsara", Swati said. We were in India on the car ride from Kochi, back to the airport. It would be a four hour ride, but it wasn't bad. I liked Swati. We had a lot to talk about. "Do you know Samsara?" "Yes. It is the cycle of rebirth right? Creation is represented by Brahma, destruction by Shiva and sustenance by... I can never remember the God of sustenance." "Vishnu.", she said. "That's right, Vishnu!"

"You are right, Samsara represents life but it is also something we must practice every day. You wake up in the morning a blank slate. A new day has been created. Its possibilities are endless. You busy yourself throughout the day, sustaining it but at the end of that day it is important to destroy it. That way you make room to create something new the next day. If you hold on to the previous day it is difficult to create something new. When you're holding on to too many things, everything gets crowded. You need to let them go to make room for the possible."

"Whoa! That's deep. I never thought about it like that.", I said.

I imagined lighting fire to my yesterdays but hesitate because some of them are too precious. In fact, the car ride with Swati is a yesterday. I try to ignite the anger and sadness stuck to my legs and arms but they are damp and don't light very easily.

Maybe I'll start by destroying the boring ones.

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