I must wait for the sunrise
I must think of a new life
And I mustn’t give in
When the dawn comes, tonight will be a memory too
And a new day will begin…” (1981) “Memory” from Cats by Andrew Lloyd Webber
The young Dr. Frankenstein meets Igor, for the first time, at a foggy depot railway platform. As they introduce themselves, the great Marty Feldman, who played Igor, presents himself as “I-gor”. Dr. Frankenstein, played by the fabulous Gene Wildman, thought the pronunciation was a bit odd. He remarks that he was told it was pronounced, “EE-gor”. Without a slip of a beat, Igor cocks his head, leans in and says sharply (in his very British accent), “Well, they were wrong then, weren’t they?” Young Frankenstein, from 1974 from the brilliant Mel Brooks, is not only considered a classic, but it’s also one of my all-time favorite comedies, if not my #1 favorite. So much so, I have it on both VHS and DVD. I just cackle at the late Marty Feldman’s comic timing in the unforgettable scene. He was a comedic genius. To this day, my finger gets busy on the rewind button, just to treat myself a couple of times before the movie moves on.
As I date myself by the following line, I will be straightforward. As a teenager, when graduating from vinyl albums, I had to replace most of them with cassettes for my car and tape player in my apartment. That was a chore. However, the ease of the rewind button allowed me to quickly scan for my favorite cut from the artist I was listening to. After all, you couldn’t do that with the vinyl LP. You had to be steady-handed as you carefully picked up the needle, while locating the correct grove, when hunting for Elton’s “Crocodile Rock”.
Admittedly so, when on my DVR, or On Demand selection, the rewind button is one of my best friends.
Have you ever noticed, the rewinds are usually not for searching that gruesome scene where the stabbing took place? My guess is that you rarely push the rewind button to “re-watch” the tragic scene where the little boy, along with his dog, can’t escape the burning house. No doubt you never raced for the rewind button to capture again the flogging scenes in the movie Amistad. If so, there’s counselling available for that itch. Yet, I’m afraid we do it all the time…mentally. Think about it.
My last post on this format was about too many windows in old hotels. Well, I’m about to pull back the drapes on one of them for you.
Over 40 years ago, I had a troublesome relationship that went on much too long. This individual was my friend through much of the 1970’s. As time went by, we grew close with a very tight bond, which seemingly was permanent. Fast-forward to December of 1979, things abruptly ended hard with a resounding thud. Most all of my old friendships are still intact and loving. I don’t lose friends, for the most part, and I am grateful. Still, this one was substantially significant in my life…or so I thought. The relationship needed some healing, which never took place, and fighting became our norm toward the bitter end. Truly, it was a downhill slope into quicksand. We were teenagers with mounds of maturity which had yet to settle-in. Regrets? Sure, at least for me. I went back to my friend a few times, during the following days, in attempts to mend, soothe, and restore. But I learned quickly that it takes two to do so. Believe me when I say, it was a nasty split. My friend was wrong, and I was wrong. Nobody was innocent. I have been mourning over it ever since. How sick is that? There have been 40 years of rehashing the “what if’s”, “why this”, or “why that”. The questions roll along, wondering what I could have done differently, as it pertained to me and my chosen actions. If the other person is not able to do the same, it makes it almost impossible to make peace in the heart. But I know you can’t go back and change anything. If you pull out a nail in the fence post, you still have a hole. There’s not been a resolve in my own heart. Thoughts of Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin comes to mind. Like Jerry and Dean, in retrospect, I believe our lives have been better without each other.
You don’t have to tell me how unhealthy this species of mourning and regret can be. I know all too well. If you’re like me, then you know you can beat yourself up over and over again. Of course, just as you think you have conquered the pain and trauma, you drag out the old dusty remote, hunting for a decades old mental movie from your life, and hit the rewind button. <<
How sad, that we keep an old dusty remote in our minds just to relive heartbreaks which don’t have to be replayed. We lie in our beds, refusing sleep, as we replay infractions from the days of yore. Other times we scan back to a fork in the road, where we turned left instead of right, wondering what might have been. Am I accurate? The scene WILL NOT CHANGE! Oh, sure, you want to see a different outcome, but it is what it is. Yet, in acknowledging that truth, it is also history, where it belongs.
Recently, to my surprise, I discovered my old friend may be struggling emotionally more than I have. While on Facebook, the morbid side of me decided to look for my old friend’s Facebook page. Shockingly, this social butterfly wasn’t anywhere to be found. Later, I sadly learned my old friend blocked my name so that I would vanish when on our mutual friend’s pages. I guess it shouldn’t bother me when thinking someone wants to scrub me from the earth, as if I never existed. There’s not been one word of any communication since January 1980. I was blocked as if I were a troller, stalker, or a monster to be shunned from the town square. “Sanctuary”, cried the hunchback in his chains. I thought it interesting that after 40 years, my name was a curse in the eyes of this person. Wow, maybe I unknowingly inflicted more harm than I received. Somehow, it added salt to my wounds.
Why do we do this to ourselves? What betterment does it apply to our mental and emotional state? Better yet, why do we crave it? We do, you know. We pick up the mental remote, push rewind to find the old scabs in life way too often. What’s more, we push the pause button to gaze for a bit, which makes matters worse. It’s a choice, isn’t it?
I don’t have a psychology degree, but I do know a bit about human nature. Under my belt, there is a ton of biblical advice in which I have marinated. In God’s camera angle, guilt, self-damning, and judgement is what we are to ween ourselves off of. Sure, biblically speaking, when we recognize our own wrongs, we are to loosen our grip, while placing them at the feet of the Righteous Judge. It is written, so we would understand, when wrapped in His forgiveness, there is no divine condemnation staining the humble who apply His forgiveness in a true, heartfelt confession. In doing so, we are to learn to forgive others…and ourselves. The old dusty rewind button should only be for scenes of joy, love, and laughter. Otherwise, take out the batteries.
Thank you Marty, Gene, and Mel.
When in play >, or fast forward >>, always expect fuel for the race.
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.” – Psalm 103:11-12 (NAS)
“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.” – Isaiah 43:25 (NAS)
“Surely it was for my benefit that I suffered such anguish. In your love you kept me from the pit of destruction; you have put all my sins behind your back.” – A prayer by King Hezekiah found in Isaiah 38:17 (NIV)