The word of the day for November 28, 2012: PAST

Technically, everything we experience is the past. By the time our sensory system translates a bunch of vibrating waves into images, taste, touch, sound, and scent, the event itself is over. It may be just a few milliseconds in the past, but in the past nonetheless.

Distant and gone, here for only one second and then out of reach, I can see you in the distance but stretching out my hand I can’t grasp yours. Now alone and cold the winters frost fingers pull me into a deep embrace and wrap around my bones like old ivy.

The past can burden us.

What is past is done, but still weighs heavy on my back. The ache fills me, and I cannot be anesthetized with the mere fact that it is over. It is still with me.

Spirits linger, wanting resolution or absolution from their pasts. Or to just be remembered.

Ghosts are always behind you, or just to the side, or maybe their hand is slipped inside yours and they’re leading you forward, always one step ahead. You can’t forget—you think you might, but they’re always, always there, waiting for you to remember them again.

She lives in the past
The ghosts keep her there
Whispering sweetly into her ear
They’ve tangled their fingers into her hair
She is dusty and cloaked in cobwebs
Hearing his voice and feeling his touch
Fragments buried deep within her skin

The past can be vivid.

The way I’ll always remember those lost years is like that night—driving down the highway in a darkness punctuated only by orange circles of light. The moon was behind us but I strained round to see it. It was the reallest it had ever looked to me, a silver pomegranate that I was sure I could have plucked. The clouds held it gently, grey-green mountains streaming away behind us.

or subtle.

As hard as I run into the future the past is close behind; as close as an eyelash, a touch, a breath.

The past can heal.

We forgive past mistakes when we link our hands, and curl our fingers tight against each other. We don’t have to see our eyes to know that we have taken our breath and healed.

And teach.

It’s all past
Not something I want to dwell on,
not something anyone else should either
Learn as you go if you need to but
We leave it where we bought it.
The present moment is where we are
And what, at the moment, has the power to slip away from us
without notice.

Or almost teach.

My past haunted me. I didn’t know what to do about this new occurrence, and it sent me through deja vu. I was afraid to make the same mistakes again, but this boy was perfect, and his hands were warm and inviting.

A past can define.

I’d like to think of each day as a freshly cleaned blackboard. But really, day after day, it’s as if my life is a blackboard never washed, with faint, bothersome, painfully present traces of the past. But to wash the blackboard would be to lie to myself, to others, and to the experience of living.

The past is like a cloud that drifts in and out of my consciousness. Sometimes it’s a harmless white cloud that shapes into happy memories. Other times, it’s a storm cloud that never ceases to torment me. But it always lingers, always hangs over me. A shadow that has seamlessly stitched itself onto the trappings of my soul.
[Rachel L]

Or transports us back to lush green places:

Past images rolling down the hills, staining their heads with grass blood. Watching everything go from young, springy, and full of levity, to older, stale, and brittle, but does the reel repeat?

She lay in the grass reminiscing about all of the things that had brought her up to this point. How her whole past, every memory, every moment, awful or completely wonderful had made her into what she was today. How it all was centered around this one incredible, enchanting moment. and she realized that she had never felt more triumphant in her trails and tribulations. She had never felt so whole.

It’s something to let go of:

You are one mad boy
do you know why I call you a boy?
because you never let go of things
even if it’s already in the past

reminders of the pain
you standing in the rain
slipping into the void…

Or hold onto:

As she walked through the trees in the densely populated forest, she tried not to think of her past. She knew she needed to keep on walking, and not turn back. But he would always be there, In her past
[marylou wynegar]

A smile can help to get past the past:

let’s get past this. deep, deep breaths, in, out, in, out. stay in the moment. Focus. Listen to them, but dont listen. Smile like you’re pretty. Smile like you know they know it. Smile like you can see their emerald envy.

The past compels us.

The past is what pulls you back and the future is what pushes you forward and the present is where you decide what you want to do—look back or move forward.

And now and again the past can be extremely lactose intolerant.

They said it was in the past. That I know longer owed them anything and there were no hard feelings. I decided to go home. Watch some bad T.V. Have some food. I ended up dead in a bowl of Cheerios. They claimed it was suicide by milk.

These are selected excerpts of entries from, and are just a few of many great entries—too many to list here.

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