Burning Bridge… Burning Memories

By Ria Steele

Before I paste in what I have written this morning, I just want to say a couple of lines. First of all, I have been up since 5:30 am this fine Sunday morning, which is rare for me. I am not sure why, but I could not sleep. I am usually not awake enough to write in the mornings, yet I decided to give it a try, thus the piece below came out. Second of all, even though I have done a few lines here and there about politics and so forth, this is really the first piece of my own heart and souls outpouring of writing I have been able to spill out in many months. It had never left me, but many reasons caused my writing and poetry to not come forth as it had with me writing for hours day and night each and every day. So I am thrilled to post this, for I feel a new door has opened for me. I feel I took my own advice this week and did some of my own "Burning Memories" work.

And thus here is the writing...

Ah, and yes it is a title to an old song. Memory slips me just now, but it could be Ray Price that sang the original title song “Burning Memories”. Most have heard the term “burning bridges”. Some have heard it said as don’t burn your bridges behind you. I am sure there are several other ways it has been put to us, but the jest of the whole thing is to not leave behind friends, potential allies, or things from the past that might benefit us later in the future, even though at that moment we may not see it that way.

I have thought of that very phrase in my life more than once for sure, after coming to a crossroads where one person or path must end, and I need to take another road in life. From there you often wonder if you sever all of the ties that bind you to the past and never again go back there in memory, physically, mentally or emotionally. That is what I would call burning your bridges. Another form is to tell someone off completely, to let someone know beyond one shadow of a doubt they are out of your life and you want nothing more to do with them. Possibly someone may completely make it impossible for people to find or contact them, that would also being burning your bridges behind you as I see it. How often do we do that? Does it later come back to haunt us? Do we come back to another crossroads in our lives wishing we would have not acted so hastily in burning down those moments in our past, only now to regret the severed ties now lost forever?

All great questions to contemplate, as I take on the other phrase I shall allow myself and those who choose to read my writing to think about how burning bridges may have affected lives in the past.

As the title of this suggests another phrase for me comes from a song “Burning Memories”. Not so much a phrase we hear often, but one that has come to mind for me due to circumstances of late. It just makes sense; although much of my life seems like a tumultuous insanity, I found that two-word phrase to really ring true to my life here of late. How often to we allow ourselves to “Burn Old Memories”? I realize we have both “good” and “bad” memories. Of course I am speaking more of the “bad” ones we tend to harbor in our hearts that loom over us like a black cloud ready to rain havoc anytime they choose. “Burning Memories” should be a fire we seek when so much hurt and pain has “filled our souls, minds, and hearts to the brim with drama”. Like looking into the “fiery” furnace we should literally throw those old memories into the flames and purge our memories of what continues to reek chaos over our relationships, in our lives, with our families, and with us causing pain, depression, fear and sadness too often, too quickly; and to the point it can spoil, break down and rot all of the incredibly great memories and life we have right in front of our faces. We spend too much time living in those old past memories, allowing them to reign over us like they were an anarchy, a dictatorship; we covet them, we hold onto them, and I think some even adore them like they were some type of precious thing.

What we often do not see, by not Burning Memories that haunt us, they consume us, take away our loved ones, pull us away from our relationships, cause us to run to doctors because of horrible depression, pain, illness, sadness, and eventually can leave us standing all alone, with no one but just old memories to be with, until it is too late.

I feel “burning bridges” and “burning memories” can be very much the same thing. Sure you may leave someone or some other part of your life, only to move forward into a new realm; yet be able to have a portion of the old past remain around for some good purpose. But if you are just holding onto the “old life” in fear of the new path to follow, if most of the old stuff is pain, sadness, fear, and things that were just bad you are leaving, then burn the bridges, sever the ties, and allow all of the bad memories to go into that fiery furnace and leave your mind, heart and soul renewed, refreshed, and purged. That way you have space for the future, new memories and the good things that shall come your way. Holding onto old bridges and memories that are not good means you never quite step into the new journey ahead. Straddling the fence is new way to live. You must have both feet on the ground on one side or the other, leave the past completely behind and allow the newness to reign supremely fresh as you travel over uncharted waters.

We must remember, and that “we” includes myself as well, a lifetime is very short. We are born and within the blink of an eye, we are grown, working, married and raising our own children. Within another blink of the eye, our children our grown, gone from home, married and raising their own children. Within one more blink we are elderly, fragile and realizing our purpose here has just about been served. So our lives are so extremely short. Too short to allow things such as bad memories to rule over us to the point we miss out on precious time, precious good memories, and wonderful things we could be doing; rather than “stewing in a pot” of bitterness over something from the past. Deal with whatever made that bad memory happen, then let it burn.

Life is like an ever-winding river. It snakes it way through curves sometimes fast breaking waters over rocks, while other times lingering slowing and calmly under a tiny bridge. We must always allow the waters of our life to carry us where we need to go. Instead of fighting against the flow of life, following that flow shall bring us someday... home.

copyright 2007, Ria Steele

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