“Life is a mystery and it’s an unsolvable one. You just simply live it through… and as you draw your last breath, you say, ‘What was that all about?’” – Marlon Brando to Connie Chung, 1989
I find myself having frequent, vivid memories of scenes from my childhood out of nowhere. As I’m eating, driving, reading or in the middle of conversation, a recollection of a person or occasion will suddenly come to mind and I clearly remember the details, including my emotions at the time. These are not necessarily huge, consequential memories, but more often seemingly trivial recollections of everyday occurrences. Still, they are vivid, and connected to the core of my psyche.
The memories are personal and the related emotions are sometimes neutral, yet often charged. Each has shaped me in some way, stayed with me and influenced me, mostly unconsciously. I open myself to their arrival, greet them with gratitude and feel a sense of lightness and freedom in their release. Each time a recollection occurs, I smile to myself and nod. “Yes. Thank you. It’s time to let you go, all in a good and necessary way.”
Orson Wells directed and starred as Charles Foster Kane in one of the most acclaimed motion pictures of all time, Citizen Kane, in 1941. “Rosebud” was the last word he spoke with his dying breath.
I consider these memories my living “rosebud” moments, where each retrieved and released memory is a necessary passage of an influential part of me that needs to be seen, acknowledged and then released, to dissipate the emotion as a way to free myself, grow anew and move on into the next phase of self-awareness, growth and being. This ongoing journey of recall, self-reflection, release, rebirth and renewal may not occur in the same way for each of us, nor may it even be necessary for everyone.
As another new year dawns, through our own memories, beliefs and living rosebud moments, we are each invited to examine our place in the world, assess where we are holding on to old beliefs and push the edge of discomfort and fear into new ways of thinking and being. Thus we constantly recreate ourselves as we journey through the human experience, all the while seeking ways to feel good, live simply and laugh more.
Happy New Year!