On A Carousel of Time

by Susan Pogorzelski on February 25, 2010 · 9 comments

Yesterday a child came out to wander
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star…

Joni Mitchell, “The Circle Game”

We spent summer days playing capture the flag, weaving in and out of backyards, our Keds slapping the street pavement as our shouts lingered in the air, like the heat that clung to our skin. After the dinner dishes were washed and put away, we gathered every flashlight we could find and ran outside to meet again for a neighborhood game of tag.

Carnivals were erected in a backyard, where a hammock transformed into a ride, a Magic 8 Ball foretold our future, and erasers in the shape of unicorns and sunglasses were the grand prize if the ball made it through the tire swing.

In a metal canoe behind a shed, we were explorers out at sea; in an unfinished basement piled high with bags of clothes, we ruled a kingdom.

Parents taught us how to ride our first two-wheeler by shoving us down the hill in our backyard where we fell, got back up again, and kept on going…We scraped our knees roller skating and shed our tears as Mom bandaged us up; then we ran back outside, ready to do it all over again.

Sleepovers meant four girls playing dress up or Barbies or, as we got older, testing out the Ouija board and watching music videos on MTV. We whispered secrets-that-weren’t-really-secrets as we lay tucked in New Kids on the Block sleeping bags on a hardwood floor, thinking about the next day when we would traipse through the forest in the back of our neighborhood to pick daffodils and play house in the fort that we discovered and claimed but never knew how it got there.

Memories that are kept close to the heart, that break through the surface with the hum of a Saturday morning theme song or the mention of a favorite toy. What is this nostalgia? Why do we embrace the past and ask Remember When? with a smile.

Is it because things have so changed since then? Is it because we long for the simple innocence of yesterday, when being in trouble meant getting grounded, and getting grounded meant going to your room where you curled up in bed anyway and indulged in a favorite book? A time when fractions were the enemy, but you could always get your big brother to help you out, and when you could be proud of that diorama just knowing the work you put into it?

A time when competition meant either winning or losing and losing meant you just worked harder; a time when best friends sat beside you on the bus and held your hand when you were scared?

A time when a hug and a band-aid could make everything better.

Maybe we long for this time because every memory that makes you smile or laugh or cry or cringe is a culmination of you. Maybe looking back to then helps us better understand our now, to see how far we’ve come and how far we want to go.

Maybe, just maybe, thinking fondly on the past helps us look forward to a better future.

A smile. A laugh.

Remember when?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

greymous March 4, 2010

Thank you my friend for letting me glimpse of your childhood and bringing a glimpse of mine back into my thoughts.

Hope you are doing well and that Reily is keeping you in line… ;)

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greymous March 4, 2010

Just read backwards through your latest posts. Sending huge positive healing thoughts your way Susan!

Don’t let that demon called the unknown dig in too deep. The way we handle this is also one of those little tests the universe throws at you. It also knows that you have it within you to handle anything the universe has. Remember that you are a treasure to us and when you feel drained we’re with you to help you through.

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Susan Pogorzelski March 10, 2010

Ken: I’ll absolutely accept those positive healing thoughts! Things have gotten a bit rough and I’m trying my very best not to let it get me down, as I had succumbed just a few weeks/months ago. I have hope now, and people by my side, hearing me, and dear friends, like you, who are encouraging and provide that reminder that I so need sometimes.

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I have appreciated all of your words, your hurrahs, your support and your faith in me, even since we first met. It’s not something I thought I wholly deserved, but your belief in me has helped me to believe in myself, and that’s a priceless gift.

I hope you know that all of it is appreciated — that you are appreciated — and that it is all a thousand times returned should you ever need it.

In the meantime, I’ll have a talk with the Universe and see if we can’t work something out ;)

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greymous March 11, 2010

As a devout introvert my biggest issues are usually involving those long twisted conversations going on in my head where I create, solve, then re-create even bigger problems to begin the cycle again. :)

I’ve had several occasions in the past few months where I absolutely “know” that I’ve told someone something and they tell me I never told them about it so its looking more and more like that fine line separating me from reality is quite frayed and broken…

Did I have a point here? :)

Just that it is a struggle/battle/all out war at times to come up out of the depths and that, however it is that you get there, you are not alone in there. We’re with you reaching out for your hand to support you and to be supported by you at the same time.

Keep on fighting and keep on being exactly who you are too! (… is that an oxymoron? :) )

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Inspiration Minded March 9, 2010

It’s nice to read a fresh style of writing. You are a great writer. Echoing Greymous’ words, sending my positive thoughts your way.

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Susan Pogorzelski March 10, 2010

Thanks so much for stopping by and reading and for your comments! And, most importantly, thanks for the positive thoughts :)

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