I have an old friend who seems to have gotten off the bus in the 80's. He still dwells there, quite happily, and often beckons to me from a distance. The past (my past, the one I have already lived) is a place that doesn't really interest me though. I have a huge passion for The Past - so long as it is someone else's, someone unknown, and preferably before the century I was born into - that Past has an exotic magic... but not the mundane documentary realism of the twentieth century... no thank you. I wake up each morning wondering what the day may bring and sometimes make hazy/lazy plans for an out of focus future, but that's about as much Time Travelling as care to indulge in.
Another friend came to stay for a few days last week and we reminisced a little about pasts that we inhabited before our paths (pasts?) crossed. But it was a specific rummage through memories to find nuggets on a similar topic, these little dips into the past were all part of a long conversation about something abstract that interests us both in the present.
I read a lot of blogs and reminiscing as a theme crops up a lot, mainly the writer delving back into their childhood/teens/early adulthood and finding great solace or amusement in the things they got up to then. (Or, fondly wish they had gotten up to possibly?) I often wonder just how wonderfully embroidered those shared memories are? I think that may be my problem: I have a sharp focus memory and can recall the boredom, the damp student flats and that feeling that we were all waiting for our lives to begin. Of course, I do also remember that we had fun - but we have fun now too. I would rather have more fun that remember spent fun.
Anyway, it's something I was musing on recently while visiting my Mother. As a virtual recluse I am often amused by her hectic social life and the fact that she likes to moan about it, as though she is merely swept along by it all, powerless to spend time alone in front of the TV. This day she was harrumphing about an impending dinner with some old work colleagues from her pre marriage-and-baby days. I asked why she wasn't looking forward to it and she explained that she loves to see these women and hear about their lives but that she knows they will soon want to talk about old times, something she just doesn't have the patience for. She claimed my Grandmother was just the same!
So perhaps, ironically, my reluctance to reminisce is hereditary? Handed down through generations of people who were perfectly satisfied living in their own presents?