The watch-words for the week are "don't look back." But just today, I had a jarring reminder of how it's sometimes kinda nice to reflect about the past instead of trying to peer forward into the future.
No need to go into details (particularly since I'm still feeling grumpy/depressed), it was just mostly one of life's little reminders that “The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, / Gang aft agley.” After tending to my disappointment and pondering all this, I decided that looking back is very comforting. For one, it's fixed: what has happened, has happened. When writing historical fiction, this fixedity (? is that even a word?) allows me to examine a past event (for example) in a leisurely but thorough manner... like walking around a statue and taking it in from several angles and viewpoints. Writing about the past, to my mind, is a hecka lot easier than writing about the present. You don't have to worry about the rush of technology, the explosion of world events, or any sudden culture shifts that can whip around and bite you.
Think of all one can learn by looking back. And I'm not the only one who believes "eyes to the past" is a good idea. Here are a few quotes gleaned from Goodreads and elsewhere for you to reflect upon.
“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” ~Soren Kierkegaard
“Sometimes, you have to look back in order to understand the things that lie ahead.” ~Yvonne Woon
"Look back, and smile on perils past." ~Walter Scott
“I love the dark hours of my being./ My mind deepens into them./ There I can find, as in old letters,/ the days of my life, already lived,/ and held like a legend, and understood.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke
... and, of course....
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." ~George Santayana