Dr. Frank Crane
I am Yesterday. I am gone from you forever.
I am the last of a long procession of days, streaming behind you, away from you, pouring into mist and obscurity, and at last into the ocean of oblivion.
Each of us have our burden, of triumph, of defeat, of laughter, of bitterness; we bear our load from you into forgetfulness; yet as we go we each leave something in your subconsciousness.
We fill your soul’s cellar.
I depart from you; yet I am ever with you.
Once I was called Tomorrow and was virgin pure; then I became your spouse and was named Today; now I am Yesterday and carry upon me the eternal stain of your embrace.
I am one of the leaves of a growing book. There are many pages before me. Some day you shall turn us all over and read us and know what you are.
I am pale, for I have no hope. Only Memories.
I am rich, for I have wisdom.
I bore you a child and left him with you. His name is Experience.
You do not like to look at me. I am not pretty. I am majestic, fateful, serious.
You do not love my voice. It does not speak to your desires; it is cool and even and full of prudence.
I am Yesterday; yet I am the same as Today and Forever for I AM YOU; and you cannot escape from yourself.
Sometimes I talk with my companions about you. Some of us carry the scars of your cruelty. Some the wretchedness of your crime. Some the beauty of your goodness. We do not love you. We do not hate you. We judge you.
We have no compassion; only Today has that. We have no encouragement for you; only Tomorrow has that.
We stand at the front door of the past, welcoming the single file of days that pass through, watching Tomorrows becoming Todays and then enter among us.
Little by little we suck out your life, as vampires. As you grow older we absorb your thought. You turn to us more and more; less and less toward Tomorrow.
Our snows cumber your back and whiten your head. Our icy waters put out your passions. Our exhalations dim your hopes. Our many tombstones crowd into your landscape. Our dead loves, burnt-out enthusiasms, shattered dream-house, dissolved illusions, move to you, surround you.
Tomorrows come unnoticed. Todays slip by unheeded. More and more you become a creature of Yesterdays.
Ours are banquet halls full of wine-soaked tablecloths, broken vessels, wilted roses.
Ours are empty churches where aspirations were, where only ghosts are.
Ours are ghastly Pompeiian streets, rich galleons a hundred fathoms deep, genealogical lists of sonorous names, mummies in museums, fragmentary pillars of battered temples, inscriptions on bricks of Nineveh, huge stone gates standing amidst the tropical landscape of Yucatan, Etruscan wine jars now dry and empty forever.
From us comes that miasma of inertia that holds humanity in thrall; from us comes the strength of war-makers, monarchs, and all the privileged.
We reach up long, sinewy, gray arms of custom and tradition, to choke Today and impede Tomorrow.
We are the world’s Yesterdays. If you knew enough to put your feet upon us, you might rise rapidly. But when you let us ride on your backs we strangle and smother you.
I am Yesterday. Learn to look me in the face, to use me, and not to be afraid of me.
I am not your friend. I am your judge — and your fear.
Tomorrow is your friend.
I think this is very profound. I have re-read it several times. I think the only thing I would change is that we need to make a friend of today. Try our best, tomorrow is only imagined. Regardless of the situation, an hour ago is just as past as last year. All we truly have is our minute to minute experience. So I would end it with something like this:
Today is your friend.
Use it to its fullest.
Exploit the wisdom gained from your Yesterdays, while aiming Today towards your desired Tomorrows.