The ever-present past

What to do with The Past? That’s always a good question. Whether it’s good stuff or bad stuff, it’s always right there at your fingertips, accumulating day on day. Maybe you’re pleased with this bit here and that little bit there. Or maybe you look back and shudder. I know I do. Either way, where you are right now is the only thing that really matters.

Joan Didion says it especially well: “I think we are well-advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were.”

I thought William Shatner would be a good way to illustrate all this. The actor who can never get away from his most famous role. So here stands Bill, pretending he’s not at home, Captain Kirk forever banging on the door.

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