Friday, November 04, 2005

Past

Past, n. That part of Eternity with some small fraction of which we have a slight and regrettable acquaintance. A moving line called the Present parts it from an imaginary period known as the Future. These two grand divisions of Eternity, of which the one is continually effacing the other, are entirely unlike. The one is dark with sorrow and disappointment, the other bright with prosperity and joy. The Past is the region of sobs, the Future is the realm of song. In the one crouches Memory, clad in sackcloth and ashes, mumbling penitential prayer; in the sunshine of the other Hope flies with a free wing, beckoning to temples of success and bowers of ease. Yet the Past is the Future of yesterday, the Future is the Past of to-morrow. They are one -- the knowledge and the dream.

2005 Update: An age of heroism preceding a moment of sloth which augurs the dawn of reward.

Speaking of Karma, there is a new story up on Doug Drones On.

27 comments:

Sar said...

Past: May the happiest day of your past become the saddest day of your future.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Wow. Wow for both you and Ambrose. *bowing* But I like your definition better.

The past always looks better than it was. The future always looks better than it will be. The present seldom is as bad as it seems.

Indeterminacy said...

Past: A time that is now irrelevant because we weren't afraid then.

actonbell said...

Gorgeous definitions! (I'm not worthy, but heck, I got up anyway)

past-mostly boring or ordinary times I don't think about while trying to be here and happy now.

Doug said...

Nice prayer, Sar.

Very good, TLP!

Maybe we should be afraid now for a more relevant future, Indie?

You are so worthy, Actonbell. At least, you are now ;-)

Princess Wild Cow said...

Past: That which fills our future with regrets.

(Spoken from the perspective of an aging hippie now taking medications to counteract the extraordinary activities of youth.)

pia said...

How can anybody top you or Ambrose? Except for Sar?

Past: that which one should never regret but be able to tell funny stories about in the happy present, and look forward to tomorrow, because it could be a funny story some day in the future

Jamie Dawn said...

I like sar's comment a lot.

Past: That which cannot be undone or redone.

Semisweet1 said...

I like your definition, Pia. It's fascinating how a distressing (or worse) present can become funny once it is the distant past. Ask Doug. He laughs at my past all the time.

Andrew Donaldson said...

Past, n. What has gone before. The part of life that really matters to one. Almost everyone is willing to sacrifice their present and future in order to paint a happy face on their past.

Doug said...

Princess, 20 years down the road cowboys and hippies have a lot in common.

Pia, that's so true and a great description of what you do daily on your site. I think half the reason I'm still not cautious is doing the smart thing never makes as good a story.

I don't know Jamie Dawn, I redo my past pretty regularly.

S, I get a chuckle out of your present too.

True, Andrew. I think I'll have a second lunch to emphasize how fit I used to be. Thanks for the suggestion.

Omnipotent Poobah said...

past (n) - That moment right there...no damn!...there...no missed it again...there!

I give up.

lula said...

It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Semisweet1 said...

my present's so funny it practically is my past. When I get deja vu, it's like taking a hit of nitrous oxide. Thank you, good night. I'll be here all weekend.

Doug said...

Poobah, you had it the second time. Welcome, by the way.

And may tomorrow be the same, Lula

S, try helium.

karma said...

it has this nasty habit of catching up with you when you're not watching your back.

thanks for posting my story, D. i'll catch up with you, soon

a4g said...

Past, n. That place of ignorance before Man figured it all out, beginning on the day of one's birth. Full of vulgar savages for whom grunts and threats served as civilized discourse. It is separated from the present via an impenetrable wall of arrogance.

lula said...

I'll come visit you when you're in the old folk's home barely able to remember your name and we can talk about the 'good old days' when you were witty and wrote a thing called a blog on that old fashioned version of the Internet.

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

past,n. The place where people that stink at life at life tend to live.....if they didn't live there they wouldn't stink at life.

I hope I can lay claim to a racy past.

Comfort Addict said...

The psychic equivalent of fly paper slathered in honey. Satchel Paige put it best when he said, "Don't look back; something might be gaining on you."

weirsdo said...

For the old: Life.
For the young: a figment of imagination.

Belinda said...

I read every day, and am just blown away. I have nothing to offer but my admiration and continued devotion.

LeesahEm. said...

past-that fraction of time where you were the most beautiful you'll ever be, had the most fun, etc. and wish you could go back to even though you would probably make all of the same mistakes.

actonbell said...

I'm with belinda--always have to come by and read other people's definitions!

I don't want a checkered past, or a plaid one--I'd prefer a pink & pink striped one, pretty much like Courting Destiny's blog. such as wise choice!

ME Strauss said...

The past: where I go to find the pieces of me that I've left behind
The future: where I go to find how I might face the same lesson I've faced my whole life over and over again.

Hi Doug--Liz

Doug said...

Sorry, everyone, I'll never go out on Friday night again!

Karma, watching your back is a great way to manage the past! Thanks for the tip and the great story!

a4g, the wall isn't quite impenetrable, it's permeable to regret.

Thanks, Lula. I hope you'll remember for me that when I was witty and when I had the blog were different times.

Alice, all it'll take is a little preparation.

Welcome back, Comfort Addict! That's not a target, it's history?

Weirsdo, I'd forgotten youth.

Aw, Belinda. Thanks and welcome. Say hi more often, we'd like to know you. Right guys?

Masil, I'm careful to keep all my mistakes in front of me.

I love it, Actonbell. I hope Pia comes back and reads that.

Welcome, Liz. Not to fear. It's out there.

jj said...

hm. well, interesting. ...been hearing a lot about this as of late. this was a nice addition.

tom