Sunday, July 22, 2012

Life events

I went to a memorial service yesterday, the 3rd I've been to in the last couple of years, for someone I didn't know all that well and hadn't seen for many many years, but remembered quite fondly from an earlier crisis period of my life.  In fact, all of these services have been for people I didn't know particularly well, one for the mother of a neighbor where we felt that it was a good idea for our household to be represented. It is incredible how much you learn about someone after they are gone, how much you can appreciate them and others' feelings for them. It's as if a whole new dimension of human experience opens to you, not in the abstract, but in the very very specific points of others' rich memories of the one now sadly absent, and it's rather beautiful.

Similarly, I looked today at the Facebook page of someone I haven't seen in the flesh for 20 years.  And there, as his background picture, was a picture of a lovely daughter about Natalie's age.  And this was a person whom I had known through the rock-n-roll beer-drinking pot-smoking days of my early 20s.  It's very moving to see that, to see someone whom you know from days of self-destruction and, in one image, you can see how their direction has turned.

In case you hadn't guessed, I'm getting old.

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