It is interesting to listen to old stories. Enough time has gone by, or so I thought, for everyone to see the truth and humor of yesterday. I linked up with friends and listened to an old story. I ended up reliving yesterday. I thought I had let go. I was sure I had moved on. Given the emotions that lingered, I am not so sure.
In the early part of the story I was feeling fine. I could sense the humor unfolding, even with my seriously misplaced efforts. As stories go, it was fairly accurate. Little things vary as they always do with retelling, yet everyone involved and listening seemed to be pleasantly comfortable.
Somewhere, at different points for a few of us, a casual remarked triggered a switch deep inside. I do not think any of us saw it coming. Each had a trigger point, independent and separated from the others. When it flipped in someone else, I could feel it even before the visible signs were obvious. Slowly and steadily each of us experienced the same turning point – laughter to silence, humor to sadness, a lightness that friends often share to something dark and sinister.
The evening went from light to darkness with four innocent remarks. In and of themselves, they were not bad. I do not think they were materially wrong. The trouble was the baggage that each of us carried as we remembered. We may have thought we had put it aside, but our unspoken language said otherwise.
The storyteller continued unaware. In a moment of laughter, he paused and I prayed. “Don’t let these liars, my enemies, have a party at my expense, those who hate me for no reason, winking and rolling their eyes.” (Psalm 35.19)
As we realized where we were, another turned to me and said to all of us. “It is time to let go. Whatever lessons were there will remain. We have a choice of moving to the present. I for one choose to live now.”
My heart and body simply said, “Amen to that.”