Future and Past

By LIZ MARCHI

I have been experiencing writers’ block since I returned from Myanmar.  There is so much to think about, new landscapes, cultures, people, language, foods and experiences.  Somehow this adventure brought me close to my roots in ways I still don’t understand.

How do Buddhist and Baptist compare and contrast?  The poverty in the deep south of my childhood was not unlike what I saw in Myanmar.  Ethnic strife, much like my childhood, where dark things happened without the light of media, are happening today in Myanmar.  The south prides itself on tradition and culture that’s a few hundred years old.  Myanmar’s traditions and culture is thousands of years old.  As we age, we all circle back to where we came from and process experiences and feelings through the filter of adulthood and our life experiences.

This week David Brooks wrote in the New York Times about Sting’s Ted talk in Vancouver in “Going Home Again.” As Brooks noted, most Ted talks are about the future, what’s possible and all the amazing things that are  making lives better.  Sting’s talk was about looking back at a childhood he wanted to escape, but that he understands was integral in making him the globally successful person he is as both an entertainer and a humanitarian.  The notion that history has a richer texture and is more nuanced than the future took hold with me.

Liz Marchi and Sisters

Visiting with my sisters and folks inBama.

So part of my quest to age intentionally is to go home again.  To spend a bit more time in the world of the familiar past.  I am making a real effort to reconnect as I return to Alabama to be with my Mom and Dad (my gratefulness to them for their parenting is immeasurable) and my huge extended family. To share more with my children about my past.

I am letting go of a lot of emotion that doesn’t matter anymore.  I need all the energy and focus I have to live today. I am working hard at new habits.  I am working differently and for the first time in my life, enjoying doing administrative work.  It’s quiet work.  My work with Frontier Fund 2 and  rural entrepreneurs is deeply satisfying.  This is where I am supposed to be, in Montana, writing the last chapters of the journey, living and loving and learning.  It’s spring again.

Liz Marchi

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Liz Marchi lives on a ranch in Polson, Montana  with her husband Jon. She is the Fund Coordinator for the Frontier Angel Fund and spends a lot of time thinking and learning about entrepreneurs, the economy and Montana’s unique place in the world. She has three daughters and a stepson and daughter and a grandchild.  She graduated from Hollins College and is entering the final quarter of life…unless we go into overtime.