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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Still Timeless on Wednesday

I even had a reminder yesterday from my friend Magoo and I managed to pass the day without posting a photo. The 365s have me walking through the halls of my years in grade school. It's kind of an odd place to be, mentally, after all these years. I spent some time flipping through photo albums to refresh my memory, but I tried really hard to complete my list of names from the faces that stood out the most in my memory, not in the photo album. As a result, a surprising number of people were just faces to begin with. I had listed, for instance, "that boy who sat 2 seats ahead of me on the right in 3rd grade." It took me some time to come up with his name even though I had many memories of his actions, his words, and my emotional response to him as a kid.

A good friend of mine -- a "new" friend from recent years -- spent most of her childhood moving from house to house, town to town. When I talk about having people visit me who I've known since the first grade, or the fact that my father still lives in the house my family moved into eight or so years before I was born, she sometimes looks at me like I'm an alien. Who knows people for that long? Who has friends from that far back?

My mother moved around a lot as a child, but she had a pen-pal that she met when she was about 6 or 7. She got a letter from him the winter she died and I continued the correspondence for a while. I guess I've always expected the same longevity in my friendships and, as a result, I've suffered a few times when friends who have moved away drop out of my life altogether. For some people, moving on means leaving the past behind.

I've never thought of the past as that easily disposable.

Yet, these 365s have reminded me of so many people... those who walked through the halls of Sunnyside grade school with me, for instance, who are for all practical purposes gone from my life. All I have left is glimpses and memories, and sometimes I have to think long and hard on those to find 38 words. These personalities who passed through my life and held such a place to be memorable for one reason or another, don't hold the same powerful emotional attachments as those of so many family members or close friends I was writing about earlier. With those sketches, I was often surprised at the depth of feeling that could be stirred while searching for a simple 38 words to describe a person, often inspired to write paragraphs or pages more.

Anyway, for Timeless Tuesday, though now Wednesday, I've selected a photo from my final days at Sunnyside Grade School. These were my girl friends from grade school. I am still in close contact with two of them. I exchange occasional correspondence (every 3-5 years or so) with a third. The other three are gone from my life, moved on fairly soon after this photo was taken, in fact.

I remember this day like it was yesterday, however; final days in grade school... heading for junior high. The possibilities were endless. For friendships. For our lives.

They still are.

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