All in all, history is really just a series of minute passing minutes that have incrementally defined the now. They slip past unnoticed and unremarked, but coalesce into the present and offer themselves into your hands. And because they do so, why go back? Why take a little trip back into the past? The present is past all bundled up and handed to you in newspaper, still steaming, hopefully fish and chips.

I went back to the very beginning because that past underlies the present and gives it meaning. When it comes time to heal the present you need to know where you’ve come from, because the from is a fundamental part of the now. Those things that make up our pasts become the language we each speak, they’re the syllables in the words we utter.

But, I’m starting to labour the point. The knife in the paddock and the knife on the shore are the same, and from delving into my own past looking for meaning I’ve discovered a number of such things, and how they’ve grown together to define me. They’re the suits and symbols that make up the cards dealt out to me, and they’re numbered by the individual actions of my predecessors.

You see there’s been numerous times when I couldn’t explain how and why I’ve reacted to or felt about things, only to have realisation fall upon me when a key piece of history is revealed, a pea exposed from under a shell to the light. Writing this story, this history, is a way of paying tribute to each of those pieces, and the way they’ve unlocked my life over so many years, slowly, with seemingly deliberate purpose. I’ve worked methodically to uncover each part, to bring them to the light of day, to examine them carefully, and to understand them. Because like old man Marley says, if you know your history, then you’ll know where you’re coming from. Pretty wise old guy that Marley (for a stoner mind you…)

All this is important because of where I grew up and what put me in that field. Events had conspired before I was born to completely isolate my atomic family. In fact, one could say that the advent of the Atomic age atomised us. But that would again be labouring the point (again). The truth of the matter is that a series of inevitable occurrences conspired to place me there, and is has only been with the fullness of time that I’ve been able to see each and every one of them for what they are. While a younger me would have blamed someone for the isolation, for instance for the flight of my uncles to foreign shores, and the sense of abandonment that ensued, the older me can see all the pieces that makes up the history, and can understand them.

The beauty of the history is that in revealing its fullness it has brought me closer to realising the interconnectedness of it all, and has left me to wonder how many other people are in similar circumstances. Who else has pondered their present or past and been unable to make sense of it because they lack those key pieces to peel away the mystery?

Perhaps, my story in the telling can inspire at least one other person to better comprehend their own full past, and the waters that have carried them into this present.