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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Still Dancing!

~ John Lennon and Paul McCartney

The other night I fell asleep in a semi-dream-like state with brief images of my face and name scrolling back through time.  It was a slide show of someone named Andy Walton at different ages.  I knew each one intimately, yet there was a since of separation from the persons I once was.  There was also a strong sense of “this is how others knew me at that time in my life.”  The slide show eventually became a collage of countless Andy Walton’s, many forgotten by me, and even more unknown to me, all living somewhere in an irretrievable yet unforgettable past. I awoke the next morning with a profound sadness and sense of loss.

Now, I know enough about dreams to realize that they are made of thoughts, feelings, and events lingering in my sub and semi-conscious mind.  I also know these ghostly images appeared days after my daughter’s wedding and shortly before the anniversary of my brother’s death – both events of personal loss - one filled with joy and hope, while the other was painfully sad and final.  I had also recently seen numerous photos from the wedding in which I saw myself as considerably older than I perceive myself. “Who was that old man dancing with my daughter?”

Many of my contemporaries and older friends may be thinking right now, “Welcome to the crowd!”  And other may offer familiar advice, “You’re only as old as you think you are.”  Both are true, however there is a threshold on which all of us stand throughout life – the threshold of “nevermore and not yet.”  Perhaps all of this is my coming to terms with “nevermore” far outweighing “not yet.”

These visions and musings can also signal a letting go of the “nevermore” so all that’s left is yet to be.  As Robert Frost says, there are “…miles to go before I sleep.”  And besides, the man in the photo is still dancing!

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