The past is a different country Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Friday, 24 September 2010 08:01
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There is still no cure for the common birthday. So said astronaut John Glenn, the man placed in a position to experience four beautiful sunsets in one day.

As one-sunset-a-day sort of people, we live most of our lives among common days. The special rituals we save for high days, holy days, holidays and birthdays. That is why it’s so sad that so many of us see these landmark days as symbolic of how another year has gone by and how little we’ve achieved.

Come to think of it, most of the women I know are convinced that they’re not doing enough with their lives. Each year a birthday comes around they’re beating themselves up for not achieving more.

I recently read an Elizabeth Gilbert article where she talks about this fear of not doing enough or too little of the right things or, worst of all – the wrong things. This is what she recommends: “Let somebody else go to art school. Let somebody else have a happy marriage, while you foolishly pick the wrong guy. (Hell, I’ve done it; it’s survivable.) While you’re at it, take the wrong job. Move to the wrong city . . . Fall flat on your face if you must, but please, for the sake of us all, do not stop.”

Just march on. You’re allowed to glance back on the occasion of your birthday each year, though. As long as you don’t beat yourself up if you cannot figure out why certain things over the past year happened or failed to happen. Answers may come later in your life, or they may never come. The important thing is just to keep moving forward.

We’ve become so obsessed with finding the lesson in everything that happens to us, that it’s difficult to understand that some things may have little to do with us personally, writes author Madisyn Taylor. We might just be playing a part in a process that will result in something bigger than we can understand.

I think that this is sort of what happened when we started this magazine eight years ago. Little did we know, at the birth of The Bronberger in September 2002, that we took the first step in a process that would result in something we couldn’t then foresee; something bigger than us that we today still don’t really understand.

On the occasion of The Bronberger’s eighth birthday there are many wonderful moments that we’d like to call back for a brief visit before they slip from your memory. And this is what we’ve done with the overviews about the animals, people and places we want to remind you of.

And yes, while paging through eight years’ editions we can see that the past has become a “different country”. Things have changed. People die; open fields disappear; local hang-outs close down; friends move away.

But, it was also while looking back that one thing became very clear: It’s not what happens to people, but what happens between people; that is what’s important; that is what gives life meaning; that is what makes a community.

And what is it that makes a community’s mouthpiece? How is it that an independent publication with no financial support from any sponsor, group or institution keeps bringing you your local news and articles for free every month?

It’s because of you – our readers and advertisers. Let me tell you a secret - something special keeps happening in our birthday month each year. It’s as if the inexplicable magic that was present at the birth of this magazine goes out of its way on our birthday to prove that it’s always there. It circles back to us from readers and advertisers.

And that is why we always expect to be amazed. If you’re constantly expecting miracles, there’s no way you can get fixated on exactly how things should happen. You just sort of stay open to whatever comes around and keep moving forward.

When you keep taking baby steps in the dark, there comes a day when you find that you’ve already stepped completely out of your own experience into that magical space where things happen between people.

As to when exactly this happened, you more than likely won’t be sure. You’ll just find yourself, maybe on your own birthday, looking back on distant memories and be so full of love for your journey and those who made it with you that you’ll wonder how on earth it could have escaped you then.

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