January 6, 2004

running to stand still

Now that I know someone’s reading this (I can tell by the comment spam— if you think I have enough influence to increase your Google rating you’re kidding yourself), I’d like to illustrate to you how my life moves in neat little circles. Just when I think I’ve gotten somewhere I’m not-so-subtly reminded of how I’m really just right back where I started from. I moved here 2.5 years ago. Here” is all the way over on the left coast behind the redwood curtain in a part of northern California that we like to refer to as South Oregon. We really have nothing to do with goin’ back to cali or california dreamin’, and we’re about as close to Alaska as we are to San Francisco. The middle of nowhere. Very far away from places in Michigan such as, say, Kalamazoo, or Ann Arbor, or … Hudsonville. I spent some important years in Kalamazoo, and lately they’ve been seeming like a neat little picture of my past, that I could look back on with a nostalgic smile and wonder at what crazy kids we all were. Life has taken on a much more visceral, vital reality for me these days, and the idealistic dreaminess of those years were something to think about to help me get through. Then, twas the day after Thanksgiving and my extended family was here to help us give thanks for still being around to give thanks. We went to the plaza to do some Xmas shopping and decided to stop by the new fudge shop to sample the goodies. My sister came running out of the shop screaming that I have to GO IN THERE RIGHT NOW because you’ll never guess who owns the fudge shop. Then I had to compose myself to go in there and have the raw ends of my nerves ripped straight back to 1993 while I shake hands with someone who once knew my entire soul. And then he has to stand there and make small talk with my husband, mom, dad, and sister on the day of the grand opening of his new enterprise. I stood there trying to keep it together while my mind time-warped back to college and the exquisite mix of angst, pleasure, doubt and excitement of those days came fooding back to me. And I remembered that those days were anything but idealistic and dreamy. They were vital and visceral, and to really remember them still hurts. And now poeple start reappearing from those days, one after another in a series of emails. It feels unreal to communicate with people through a medium that barely existed when I knew them best. I deceive myself into believing that this is why we don’t talk to each other in an age when communication is so easy it has become a commodity. Or maybe that is the reason— this medium is too cheap and can’t convey the vitality of what I’m feeling. At any rate, I haven’t yet contacted the local fudge purveyor since that day, but when I do, I’m pretty sure it’s going to have to be by walking through that door.

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