My headphones vibrate a song from my youth. It played on the tinny speakers of my mom’s station wagon as we traveled with the windows down to the public pool on warm summer days, and months later when a late dawn broke on a snow day as we slowly made our way over freshly plowed streets to the best sledding hill in the area. Retrospection is impossible given such a song, though I wasn’t really a fan of it as a kid- neither the song nor retrospection that is. The song was a little above my paygrade, though the sweet R&B melody was nice, it even references snow now that I hear the words again.

The idea, though, of retrospection is one that sticks in my mind like a burr. It itches and pokes with a voice wondering how today’s world will be viewed by my future self- touching wood that I am given such a luxury. Though I was mostly oblivious of the greater world from my perch on the vast and wide tall grass prairies of my youth, I do remember some things. My opinion of them, if I even had one, though, is lost to the sands of time. 

From the present era I hope my opinions remain. I hope I can look back and see at least a few correct. What pokes most of this personal burr is what will look so glaringly obvious that seems so opaque now. What even will, from the spective of years in future, look inevitable, so inevitable that one could hardly imagine anyone thought otherwise. Think of how, in 2020 we view the collapse of the Soviet Union. Though I grew up in the post-cold war world, I was born one year before the Berlin Wall fell. Even when I was a kid the adults in my life spoke as if they all knew that that concrete abomination would tumble to the strains of David Hasselhoff. I am quite sure, though, the day I entered the world not a single one of them would guess that it would be down before I spoke my first words or that the Soviet Union would be completely dissolved as I opened presents at my Grandma’s house Christmas eve on my fourth Christmas. 

The world of March 2021 is so turbulent, it feels like a chord that refused to resolve, yet crescendos as if some great sonic statement is imminent. I wonder what that hit will be, what sonorous melody will come out of it, or what mournful dirge. And more than that, I wonder what it will seem like in retrospect. Will it all seem so obvious? Or will the resolution really come out of left field? Covid was really an odd one that few will reasonably be able to say they predicted, but will future evens be the same? 

I wonder what songs will make me think of now, and what memories I will have paired with them. I hope in whatever future I listen to them, it is better than today. 

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