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  • Writer's pictureDavid Beers

Looking Back

Looking Back

Each moment passes before we know it’s gone.

Our Own memories are written on the shores of time’s ocean

Soon the clarity of what has been fades away

And all we are left with are faded snapshots

Of some events in our lives

But our memory often deceives us

With something that may not be the truth

Only our perception colored by our emotions

Creating a drama of our life

With us as the main character

And a storyline centered on us

That begins and ends with us

Only loosely connected to the past

Continued on imaginary lines into the future

How then can we understand what has come before

Can we trust the history we have been taught

Who writes that story?

Whose memories are retold?

We can barely understand the stories of our Elders

Fantastic tales of fabled times

Romanticized to ease the pain of real life

Further back to what has been written

We only have the legacy of the powerful

Making heroes of warlords and despots

What is true and what is real?

Who decides what will be remembered

And how is it presented?

Voices from the margins

Female voices often left unnamed

Voice of the oppressed and conquered

Silenced by Empire

Only to be spoken in the voices of colonizers

Generations of culture, tradition, and religion

Erased by sword, disease, and exile

Where is their voice?

Where are their memories?

We pretend to understand ancient words.

Written for those long dead

Interpreting meaning with a modern eye

Translating and transliterating thoughts

Until any original meaning is completely lost

How can we know the truth?

How can we read the past?

Is truth only decided by the victor, by the powerful?

Which version of history’s story do we keep?

Has right always been right?

Has truth always been true?

We seek to take a bite of the fruit of Knowledge’s tree

Wanting to make ourselves gods

And yet it is all an illusion

The universe laughs in mockery

Before we can understand all that we cannot know

The wind of time blows our life’s candle

And we are only a photograph in a book that no one will read.

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