They tell you to never look back. The edge is too close and if you look back, then you look down into the abyss. The past is history and climbing back behind the wheel of that old Model T just isn't going to work any longer.

Time passes but the memories remain. There are those that are pleasing to reflect on. These memories are photographs of the black and white variety. If we think about them for too long, the color returns. Sometimes those colors betray our better memories and remind us that sometimes life's bartender puts too much vermouth in the martini.

Time and distance separate us from the people we love and the places we once called home. There are those who fear this feeling too much and they remain grounded instead of flying beyond the walls of what was and might never be. The past remains close and so do the memories, and yet the result is a nearsighted life vision that rarely changes.

Sometimes the past needs to be given fertile seed in the present so that it may bloom in the future. For absent friends we say a prayer or mail a Christmas card. Perhaps we summarize our life's progress in a short, typewritten note that is as cold as dried ink on paper. We go through the motions so often that it becomes a procedure. To cross time and distance we need so much more. A team of mules and enough gear for a journey through the cold mountains of all but forgotten potential can help, but to overcome the obstacles of personal history you need to strengthen your spirit. You must be willing to dredge the water that flows under the bridge and make it clear once more. Memory clouds the water and we cannot dance in the waterfall until we remember what we worked so hard to forget.

Don't cross the river unless you can swim back on your own.

During the past 24 hours I bought all the supplies I needed to build a bridge. There is someone missing from my present life who means too much in the context of the past. Yet, no matter how strong the bridge we build, unless that bridge is crossed it is a waste of the soul's tax revenue. It might stand there forever, an invitation spelled out and explained as only we ourselves can. The river continues to flow down from the mountain and under the bridge. The shoreline may erode, and we may have to continue expanding and strengthening that bridge.

Charge no tithe.
Ask no explanations.
Leave the bridge and see if it is crossed.
One day, perhaps it will.
You are powerless over the will of another.
Unless you violate the sanctity of memory
and of your love.
If you do, the bridge will always fail.

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