History, Mystory

Carved on the National Archives building. One of my favorites.

It’s Dr. Hogue’s fault. And his Southern accent. I love history. There are other reasons and teachers I can credit, but it really comes back to Dr. Hogue and his American History class in college.

I’m the sort that reads about Ben Franklin for fun. The sort that sees a movie and chases down the historical record to make sure it was accurate (Mountains of the Moon was NOT correct). I want to stop and read all those historical markers along the road.

Those who do not remember the past

are condemned to repeat it.

National Library. Books AND History in ONE place.

My own personal history has also been a sort of a thing for me. Therapists start there. They want your history.  If you haven’t been to a therapist, it’s much harder than the medical history your physician wants.Therapists don’t let you off with yes or no answers.

If you don’t know where you’ve been,

then you can’t figure out where you’re going…

And when you go through your history, you examine it and revise it.

Revising history would make Dr. Hogue shudder. But you know, sometimes history needs to be revised. The stories of happy Native Americans welcoming settlers with pumpkin pie. Vietnam. Weapons of Mass Destruction.

And this goes for personal history as well. It goes with mine anyway.

Sometimes history is revised to correct it. Add fact to a memory. Bring in Truth to illuminate the shadows. My mother didn’t hate me. She was ill.

And sometimes it is revised to better understand it.

Understanding history isn’t so much about revising it, but giving it a chance to breathe. The bones of the skeletons assemble themselves, put on a hat and go for a long walk. Leaving you a nice clean closet. This kind of revision is called perspective.

It is what it is. It was what it was.

I’ve been revising the story of my marriage. It’s hard. Because I am doing so with the lens of today. And that view is changing as I get further away and as I continue to interact with him as a parent of Little Sir. And maybe something more than just a co parent too. It’s history in the making…

As a Christian, forgiveness is a big deal. And so it is with history. After the examination and the understanding and the perspective and usually a few life lessons, we have to urge those skeletons on their way, there’s no room for them anymore.  I need to wish them well and nudge them out the door. Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry? I don’t want to do all work of  hauling them out of the closet only to have them cluttering up the living space.

The Living Space.

The Living.