Sunday, December 30, 2012

One Step Forward...Now Look Back

I know the song says "One Step Forward. Two steps back.
Nobody gets too far like that."

I think we can't move forward without looking back.
Maybe it is the whole 'History Repeats' theme... I dunno.

Today I took my look back. 
Old journals... the pen and ink kind I kept.
Computers crash, memories are lost.  Pen and ink last until the fire.

As a form of entertainment my family used to play a game.
Left, Right, Straight.
It was a long time ago.  Gas was cheep and it was affordable entertainment.

True story this.
I wrote this from my daughter's eyes.

In "Group" we learn ways to cope with the world around us - replace dysfunctional thinking with better ways to view the world and deal with it... the middle... it's kind of like the Left, Right, Straight game my mother played in the car on Sundays.  We'd all pile in and someone would start, at every cross road someone would say - left - right - or straight.  Backwards was never an option. 

Off we'd go on our convoluted drive.  Sometimes you had no choice to turn, but if you kept from turning too much you could cover a lot of ground.  Mom was one of the participants and so she could keep us in some sort of forward motion - otherwise we could just drive around the block repeatedly.  Mom's choice was always straight.

She was, after all, trying to  eventually get somewhere.  We'd stop for a burger and fries when we had money or just for a quarter refill of her soda jug if we didn't, but we always happened upon someplace that would suit our needs.

One day when I suppose my mother had other things on her mind she said straight and for the most part so did we kids.  Or maybe mom thought it was cool that her kids were figuring out that in order to go places you can't keep turning, turning, turning... sometimes you have to chose foreword.

Forward we went.  Farther than we'd ever gone before.  Soon we were in the middle of no where.  "You can't get lost with Left, Right, Straight" my mother said trying to quell our fears.  You just keep going until the next choice is available."

And keep going we did.  Our twenty year old Buick was a trooper and bumped and jumped on that dirt road, kind of like a carnival ride.  Then we came to a bridge.  I said before that going back was never an option for my mother.  She stopped the car, eyed the bridge.  I suppose she contemplated how very heavy the Buick was.  You could tell it was more than a foot bridge, but it looked so old and rickety, the hanging bridges you see in movies, the ones with all the boards missing, swaying in the slightest breeze and nothing between you and a zillion foot drop but an old board and unraveling rope...

We crossed the bridge, the car so wide the sides almost touched. After the bridge it was not much farther before we found a cross roads and soon found a connivance store.  I was sure it was a 'refill day' as mom had brought the jug.  Instead we got to chose our own candy and a small drink.

We were in heaven.

Was She celebrating our ability to move forward or thrilled that were were alive and had made it across the bridge. 

I will always remember her moto.

Never back.