For many years now I have enjoyed reading about historical findings and developments in the archeological world. I have always enjoyed history and looking back on the way civilization have evolved (or devolved) over time.
I recall standing at the Grand Canyon and looking down upon billions of years being shown with each layer of the rocks and then thinking, there are so many things we can not know that can not be seen inside those layers and is therefore lost in time.
Time itself is such an enormously complex concept and even when we look at the events that have taken place or the changes that we have seen in our own brief time it becomes even more amazing when try stretching those timelines over centuries and even millennium.
Whilst I struggle with the type of timelines that exist in the universe I also admit that I can also struggle with the changes that a mere year or decade can bring. Perhaps it is part of the human condition that we all struggle with issues of time? Perhaps I am not different from everyone else on this planet? I see how elderly people can constantly look back and talk about their youth and I think that in many ways they choose to live in a time long gone and that never to return.
As I approach my 50s (even writing this number seems incredibly strange to me) I realize that I am approached a crossroads where the things that were commonplace in my youth have changed significantly today and the possibilities of further change can be strangle and daunting, despite the fact that I will have to deal with them regardless.
I am considered neither young or old at this time and I am therefore labeled ‘middle aged’. What exactly I am in the middle of can be very confusing at times.
As my husband spoke to me about the costs of things I marveled at how he constantly seems shocked about the price or cost of things today. It’s like a constant assault on his sensibilities. He quickly proclaims what $5 was once worth to him in his early years and how every decade seems to add an extra zero to the cost of something. What was once $10 now costs $100s and to do any small repair or fix around the house will often be a multiple of $1000!
It really is quite shocking for those of us who remember what things used to be. For those that know no better it is simply the way things are. Hence the feeling of being trapped in the middle of the past and the future.
As I thought over these things and then later began talking to my husband again it became very clear to me that there are a lot of people that knew the younger me, the person I was 10 years ago, 20 years ago and maybe even 40 years ago but aside from a hand full of things I realize I am not that person anymore.
Sadly they are simply excavating a body that is long gone and lost in time… Metaphorically speaking.
Very few people know the person I am today and, furthermore, very few people will. No matter how much I write, how much I share and how much someone might assume, they can never truly know and that is simply the reality of it. I belong to a very small percentage of the population whose experiences will never truly be understood or comprehended by the rest of the world.
It is for this reason that I find myself not really describing my day to day or sharing personal details with anyone other than my husband. He is the only person who will ever know the truth of who I am and one day he will be gone too.
Yet I felt a strange comfortableness with this. After nearly a decade of living with these declining and progressing illnesses I find that they have advanced beyond the point of even defining them now. They are incomprehensibly complex now and simply beyond definition. No one else can possibly understand what I am speaking about unless it was happening to them too… but my husband knows.
Today I heard him trying to describe the difficulty that a holiday or trip would present to someone who was painfully ignorant of it all and, worse still, unwilling to comprehend, so my husband just stopped. And that pretty much sums up what happens now. We simply just stop explaining. We have gone quiet forever.
I told him that not only do we struggle to explain to people now but we should also remind ourselves that we don’t have to explain it to people any longer. It’s not our duty. He agreed. This ultimately felt like a huge burden had been lifted.
I told my husband how many years ago I wanted to leave a mark on this world. Some sort of legacy or something that said “I was here…” but now I feel as though that doesn’t really matter to me any longer. It seems like a sad and narcissistic thing human beings try to do and create for themselves. A monument to themselves either through having children or by some other manner.
If my writing remains on the internet or if my personal belongings are found after I am gone it doesn’t really matter to me any longer. The real achievements I feel I have made in my life has been that I have endured these past years and I continue to keep going despite the pain and incredible difficulty of it all.
Despite the losses. Despite the tears. Despite the setbacks. Despite the heartbreaking futility of it all at times… and always in the knowledge that it will slowly but surely worsen.
All of this though is unknown and will be unknowable to the rest of the world. There will be no evidence of it or memory of it in time. Despite any of the businesses, the deals, the ideas, the projects or anything else I may undertake or do in the remainder of my time on this earth, the most amazing achievement in my eyes will be how my husband and I have managed to continue and somehow persist in circumstances that many will never know or be able to comprehend.
When I sit back and think how has this even been possible I realize without a moments hesitation that it has all been possible through love and devotion. I look around me at my husband reading beside me and the furry little companions asleep on my bed and think that even more mysterious and incomprehensible as the depths of time and space are the depths of love which we have created and built, moment by moment.
However, unlike a historian unearthing an old grave site and finding the bones and finery of whomever lived and died there, my greatest achievements and accomplishment will leave no evidence of having ever existing.
Love and commitment is beyond the naked eye and has no form to show it existed and can not be exhumed from the hearts we leave behind when we die. But as I look back on all the things I wanted to do and the things I dreamed of as a child I clearly recall that chief amongst my goals and constant hopes were to find love, companionship and loyalty in another human being and to that end I believe I have reached the highest achievement that I could ever have possibly imagined, regardless of whether it becomes lost in time or never remembered again.