Southern style: Is there more to the future or the past?

tsj column writers - southern styleBy Randall Franks

 

My brother asked me recently, are you living in the past. I often do find myself lingering within my memories. As time passes, I think it is easy to place more emphasis on what has gone by in your life than what is ahead.

That is probably especially so for someone who spend a great deal of time writing. You depend on your memories of experiences, people, places to bring your writing to life, add color, excitement and depth.

The summer days running through a spraying sprinkler with friends with slippery green grass beneath you bare feet. A call from the porch brings us running and dripping as my folks cut up an ice cold watermelon on the back porch handing a piece to each of the kids. As we smiled while chewing it to the deep green rind the red juice ran down our faces and hands leaving us so sticky but oh so satisfied.

Standing outside the closed green apartment door, I wait for my first date to or someone to answer it. Fearing that I was going to do something that would embarrass her and I in some way as the evening progressed. And finally when the evening was over the success finding that I didn’t make a fool of myself and there was some hope she might actually like me.

Looking out from behind the deep burgundy curtains to see one of the first audiences for which I would perform at my elementary school, feeling my heart beat faster and faster; hearing the parents and students talk amongst themselves as the play came close to the curtain opening.

Standing outside the tour bus anxiously waiting to catch a glimpse or maybe even shake the hand of an icon as he entered the Cathedral Caverns to record an album. I had not yet met the man who would play such a huge role in my life – Bill Monroe.

Looking across the wooded area where we were filming to see the arrival of television icon Carroll O’Connor and never being able to imagine the impact these steps would have on the rest of my life.

Holding the hands of my father and mother as they stepped through to the other side leaving their shared memories, deepest cares, greatest concerns, highest hopes and wonderful dreams with me.

I have been in the midst of writing a book series that has kept me embedded in the past for a couple of years now. It has provided me with some wonderful times folding myself into the past. It can be a great inspiration to look back and it can also bring great sorrow if one dwells more on what is gone than what is to be.

With the conclusion of the writing stage of my Encourager book series coming to a close, I am hopeful and excited to be looking towards the future to create new opportunities, new adventures and new memories to write about someday.

Each day that dawns gives us the chance to write another chapter in our life or the life of another we may not even have met yet. Will you use the day to create a great adventure and make a difference?

(Randall Franks is an award-winning musician, singer and actor. He is best known for his role as “Officer Randy Goode” on TV’s “In the Heat of the Night” now on WGN America. His latest CD release, “Mississippi Moon,” is by Crimson Records. He is a member of the Independent Country Music Hall of Fame. His latest book is “Encouragers I : Finding the Light.” He is a syndicated columnist for http://randallfranks.com/ and can be reached at rfrankscatoosa@gmail.com.)

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