After years of skipping all the WWI era songs on my MP3 player, I simply deleted them. I have them on my computer if I ever really want to hear them but odds are I won’t.
I feel like the memories are losing their sting at last. Maybe I’ll feel it again but I’m in no hurry. Life has changed. I feel alive for once and I’m thankful for it. Life feels less like a prison now as the memories of that far-off time become less and less a feature of my existence.
Maybe one day I’ll still go to Flanders and make one last gesture of farewell. But I can’t put my life on hold for that. I am not John William Harris. Maybe some part of me once was but it’s all just memories and habits.
I’m forging a life now. Hopefully the kind of life Jack could only have dreamed of. I have mountains, forests, and miles upon miles of rivers and oceans to weave a new tapestry of memories. Good memories.
And one day, hopefully when I am very old, I will be buried here in Oregon. And there will be no sobbing over that grave from my future self over a life squandered, only the gentle songs of scrub jays.