Déjà vu, (/ˌdeɪʒɑː ˈvuː/) from French, literally “already seen”, is the
phenomenon of having the strong sensation that an event or
experience currently being experienced has been experienced
in the past, whether it has actually happened or not.
Have you ever felt like you have been somewhere before, remembered something as though it came through the fog of a dream or had the odd feeling this has all happened before? If you have, you are right! Because it has.
Some people chalk deja vu up to a sixth sense, reincarnation or a glitch in the Matrix. But really deja vu is just the admission that life is cyclical not linear. We think time only runs in one direction. Only forward. Only straight. But clearly this is not the case.
There is one week, annually, that I regularly experience deja vu. It is my least favorite week out of the 52 we have. It the same week every year. It is the 52nd week. Its the week that exist in an odd vacuum between Christmas and New Years. The huge built up of Christmas has been unwrapped. But the year has not yet ended in its climax of revelry and celebration. It is the week where we sit and wait for one year to end and the next to start. The intermission between what was and what will be. Its the place where we anxiously wait to cast off the past and reach for the future.
Herein lies the cycle. The repeat. The deja vu. Every year it feels like I have been here before, because in actually I have. I have experienced this yearly cycle 42 times in my life. Why should it not feel famailair. I should expect the feeling of, “I have seen this before” because I have! Why would I expect the 43rd rotation to be any different?
In 2014 I will repeat the cycle. This year I will revisit old friends in new fashions. Joy, pain, pleasure, excitement, frustration, happiness and tragedy.
I will feel the sting of Death and reflect on the last time he called someone’s name.
I will cheer with Pride when my boys overcome and succeed.
I will play the age old game with Urgency and Overload that I nearly lost last year.
I will dance with Love as we celebrate 20 years of faithfulness and intimacy.
I will fight with Temptations, sometimes winning and sometimes losing.
I will wrestle with Maturity, who I have dread, but respect.
Others will experience deja vu when they repeat the cycle by walking well worn paths of the past. Some will wake up in a stranger’s bed, like last year. Others will celebrate the birth of another child. There will be those who will realize they are once again in the same relationship, but with a different person. A few will pass more of their running, weight or education goals. While some will reluctantly recite the old and tattered mantra, “I will never do that again!” (oh yes, you will). Some will pay attention to the familiar pangs of desire calling them to become someone more.
This week we stand on the cusp of an annual showing of Groundhogs Day. It is the chance to see the future, with the information needed to not make the same mistakes, to appreciate life for what it is and to relive the glories of yesterday. Its the chance for a mulligan.