Thursday, July 7, 2011

Revisiting the Past

I'm here in Utah, visiting my parents without Göran, but with a friend. So my friend is sleeping in my parents' guest room, and I'm sleeping in the basement in my brother Joe's old room. But it just so happens that the bed I'm sleeping in is the same bed I slept in all the years I was growing up.

It was an old bunk bed, purchased when my brother Mark and I were small children. When our family moved into a bigger house, and Mark and I were able to graduate to our own bedrooms, the bunks were separated, and I continued to sleep in it as a single bed until I graduated from high school and went to BYU, and then on my mission. I continued to sleep in the bed for a while after my mission, and then when visiting parents for summer vacation. I think the last time I slept in it was the summer of 1986.

It's funny how a physical object can bring back intense memories. I saw the Strassenburg Planetarium sticker I must have put there when I was still a pre-teen, which brought me back into a completely different mental world full of dinosaurs and astronomy. (Well, maybe not completely different!)

Last night I was remembering how this bed was the place where I spent at least a third of the first half of my life -- sleeping, doing homework, studying scriptures. Dreaming. And... masturbating. And feeling guilty. And praying. No -- pleading with God. A bed is an intimate place.

It's strange to be back in that bed now, and remembering. Remembering the wrestling, the conflicts, and the coming to some kind of resolution, some kind of peace. It's strange having a concrete reminder of the path that's brought me to where I am now.

Göran was here for one night, and neither of us sleeps well separate. So Göran crawled into the single and we slept peacefully intertwined. The following morning, I woke up and knelt next to the bed to pray while Göran was still sleeping. That was a moment of realization too, symbolic maybe of the ways in which the most significant aspects of my childhood -- my faith and my hope -- are still with me. But added to it is a larger perspective, the fuller life that is possible with family and experience and compassion.

God just keeps adding. Nothing is ultimately lost. Everything is still there, inside my heart. Even the old pain is sweet now because it helped make me who and what I am, leaving me nothing but gratitude.

1 comment:

Kiley said...

I'm sleeping in the same bed that I slept in as a kid too! I have had some of the same thoughts that you describe here.

Thank you for this post. As usual it made me stop and think about some things.