Starting, and starting over, is not the same thing. They are as different as walking forward, and walking forward, backwards. Not as clearly different as starting and stopping. If it was, then you would have no trouble telling them apart. But make no mistake; people do have trouble telling them apart.
Starting is that thing we do at the beginning of some something we have not done. Starting over is that thing we do when some something stops us, but just long enough for us to think that maybe we have not really stopped at all.
It is understandable when those who have never really started a something, and seen it to its end, don’t know. Most books don’t teach it, and most folks have never lived it. It’s a mystery, on the lines of accepted but incomprehensible things like the laws of gravity, and thermodynamics. But whether or not someone knows what those names are names for, ask them if a satellite or even a shooting star could fall to earth, and they nod and say, of course those things are true.
And this is where I say that, because those laws say that a body in motion tends to stay in motion, and a body at rest tends to stay at rest, the very same thing can be equally true about the path of a human life, lived in this human world, often at the mercy of the most human of circumstances.
Speed bumps are formed. Detours are made. Shit happens. And sometimes, those obstacles stop the beautiful movement of a body in motion, until it becomes a body at unintended rest.
Have you ever tried to give a falling star a shove to get it back on its course through the heavens? It’s not as easy as it sounds. In fact, it’s damn fucking impossible. Yet when a very human body, with all its complexities of motion and emotion, loses its path through the glory of this world, it is no more easily shoved back on course than the star that fell from the sky.
But we still ask of those who lost all their momentum, sometimes well-intentioned, sometimes with a critical intent, why can’t you just start over?
Maybe it’s in the way they’re walking. And maybe you’ve been fooled, because you haven’t noticed that they’re walking forward, backwards. And maybe in walking backwards, they are slowed by looking at the past that was; their past, lost to the speed bumps, the detours, and the shit of something that no longer is, and not the new that waits behind their back, right over their shoulder. Not in starting over, but in turning around and starting brand new.
So in the same way you would look into the night sky and at the stars within it, look closely at the shining stars before you, and understand. Because starting over is never easy, and they are doing the best that they can.
© Copyright 2017 William S. Friday