“When the theater is empty, filled with echoes of my voice; when the orchestra is silent and all you hear is noise;
When my glory days are over and the lights no longer shine, will the people still remember that the voice they heard was mine?”
Nothing is forever. Fame and fortune are fleeting. Today’s star headliner story is old news before the ink dries. Your world-shaking status on Facebook will not rate a “share” or “like” before the day is over. Even the most exciting story loses its punch.
When you have been around as long as I have, you know that forever is an illusion, the figment of someone’s fertile imagination. The concept is also known as wishful thinking. The only forever I know and look forward to is in eternity, beyond this world of space and time.
Please do not look for traces of bitterness or scars of heartbreak in my words. I write about this with a happy heart, remembering how beautiful it was to love and believe, never regretting that once (or twice and many more times) I plunged into those turbulent waters, trusting and confident that the currents would not overwhelm me. A couple of times I went under. But haven’t we all?
Tell me, what happened to the blushing bride, dressed in white satin and lace that walked down the aisle on the arm of her knight in shining armor? Together they built on a dream, looking forward to a forever of bliss. Today they ask, “Where did it all go?”
But isn’t this the stuff that love stories are made of? Isn’t this what makes falling in love so amazing and unforgettable? We know that one day it may end up just a memory. Still we walk right into it, heads high and hearts full, daring fate and the gods to tell us that it will end and hearts will break. We are brave, blind and maybe foolish. Ah, but that unspeakable joy!
Someone wrote, “Who woos her now, a sallow, wasted wife and mother, a shadow of what she used to be, once a child now a lonely woman? Who wipes the tears off her cheeks? Who picks up the pieces of her broken heart?”
I can hear many voices saying, “Oh, but that’s too sad, overly dramatic and so ‘yesterday.’ After all, today’s woman is different. She is a tower of strength, completely self-reliant and unassailable.” That is what she wants to be. I still believe a woman, today or yesterday, is strong and resilient, but fragile.
Experts say emotional upheavals are surges of hormones in the brain (or wherever) stimulated by the senses. They happen at the sight of someone we love or dislike intensely, the sound of his voice, the touch of his hand or even the smell of his cologne.
These emotions rise suddenly and subside just as quickly. This is especially true with men. Maybe it is the nature of the male. Women, gifted (or cursed) as we are with an uncanny capacity to remember, etch these moments in our hearts and minds and can remain there for all time.
Perhaps romantic thrills become more exciting because we know they vanish in an instant. We have seen how intense involvements can burn and fizzle out all too soon. Very often the “real thing” turns out to be just a volatile and ephemeral experience. Passions, no matter how inflamed, tend to cool down fast.
Unfortunately, this is also true with feelings of outrage. We froth at the mouth over unfairness and injustice. Anger and indignation cause us to take to the streets, en masse, in an accusatory frenzy, shaking fists, pointing fingers and spewing expletives at the perpetrators of evil deeds. We make a big fuss about their crimes, stare aghast at the figures of amounts they have allegedly pilfered from an unsuspecting public, and judge the scoundrels according to our own personal sense of righteousness.
And then something happens. At the height of a national scandal, suddenly the game of smoke and mirrors commences. All it takes is a glib charlatan (often a lawyer or politician) to take over and throw dirt with squid-like agility, and the once clear and transparent waters become muddled and muddied. Suddenly, we can no longer get to the “bottom of things.” Now on the defensive, the voices we raised in furious protest start dying down and become distant, muffled and unintelligible.
Another saga ends and we are left looking and feeling quite stupid, wondering what happened.
There is nothing permanent. Remember the seasons. In the freezing cold of the deepest winter, we are wisely reminded that spring has never missed an entrance. Scripture tells us that even when there is mourning and weeping in the night, joy comes in the morning.
This thought should give us the courage to stand up and face the tests and trials of life. Take heart. Nothing is forever. Thank God.
I love these words by William Wordsworth:
“What though the radiance which was once so bright