Monday, July 21, 2008

Miles To Go Before I Sleep

For me, sashaying down memory lane usually means remembering music school, and I completely gloss over middle school and high school - as if my formative years were completely encapsulated and represented by my activities on the weekends.

And truthfully, when I look back on those years, it's not the Mon-Fri that I remember clearly. Memories of high school are pushed to the distant background, and it's the memories of music school, the sights and smells of NYC on Saturdays, that present themselves at the forefront.

But of late, there's been a great deal of activity from my fellow high school alumni on facebook.

And it's caused me to reflect on a part of my life that usually doesn't command much attention.

For better or for worse, whether the memories are positive or negative, regardless of the fact that we weren't even human beings yet, the people that I grew up with, the people I saw every day, share a kind of intimacy with me. Perhaps we never cared to speak to each other, perhaps our real lives moved in circles that were completely separate and distant, but we watched each other grow up. And there's a certain knowledge that comes from that. And that baseline of data is more meaningful than one might think, at first glance.

Because whether it's affirmation or discovery or re-discovery, having even a flawed baseline to work with infuses the reconnection with more meaning.

"She's still as mean as a snake."

"Funny, but I can see how it makes sense that s/he has turned into a responsible parent and spouse."

"Huh. He's a lot smarter that I thought he was."

"Really?!? I always thought he was such a NICE guy!"

I love big cities for a number of reasons. But the primary one is this: at night, when you look at the skyline, every single light, in every single window, in every single building, is a story that is immensely important to at least one person out there. But sometimes it takes work to remember the significance of each lit window; sometimes it requires the impetus of memory and imagination. Sometimes, it requires the presumption of intimacy.


MrsCooper said...

I remember we used to install light timers at home. The whole purpose for that was to give an impression that someone was there. I wasn’t so sure it was convincing but I felt more comfortable coming to a lit home. It’s still selling so I guess it works.

I saw an old building which had a flat with red lights. I couldn’t help but wondered why anyone would use red lights. Okay, red would be a preferably choice than green or blue. But still, it’s red. You can imagine certain thoughts came to my mind. Then one night I joined some friends for drinks at a cafĂ© opposite this old building. I could see the old flat from where we were sitting. It turned out to be red altar lights for worshipping.

MomVee said...

C-Belle, I love this post.