The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Monday, December 11, 2006

Time Part I

I have been thinking about time, and all its clichés, but mostly about how time sometimes seems to expand and contract; move in straight lines or in loops that seem to bring you back to somewhere you’ve been before. Several events over the past few weeks have all had me thinking about times past and how they might resonate in the future. Eh, it’s not nearly as profound as it sounds, just the events of an ordinary life.

I went to see an exhibit, Ehon, at the New York Public Library. Ehon is the Japanese tradition of creating picture books. The illustrations are not merely a mirror of the text. Rather the pictures are images that are central to the story and interact with the text to create something bigger. These beautiful works of art were often commissioned or created to celebrate a person’s life. Many of them are anthologies of poetry or chronicle long journeys. Some of the books on display are from the 8th century!! The tradition continues with more modern interpretations, but it was often difficult to tell when a book was published. The exhibit was thematic and not chronological, which enhanced the feeling of time being compressed.

Shortening the time continuum, I was at a big meeting in Denver and had dinner with my cousin and his wife. Cousin is 5 years older than me, and when we were kids, it was a big difference. His family moved to Ohio when I was nine, and until a family wedding last month, I don’t think I have seen him for at least 30 years. I am so glad I called him and we were able to spend that time together, because we hit a groove right away. In a way it was like having dinner with 2 strangers but we started with common ground, family and growing up and then the roads we’ve each taken. The 5 years age difference vanished, and time seemed to be running in concentric circles, or looping back on itself. I don’t know when we will see each other again, but I was grateful for this opportunity to reconnect.

Then there was the John Fogerty concert. Seeing old rock and rollers perform can be sad. Some of them look so……. OLD. And some can’t sing very well. Well, time seems to have stood still for John Fogerty. He looks like a much younger man. He showed pictures of his young daughter on the video screen. He sounds great and has more energy onstage than any performer (its not an act like Mick Jagger). The whole experience brought back my memories as a “Rock and Roll Girl.” It was long ago, time was expanding, and all these memories connected to my rock and roll roots rushed in. Dorm rooms, posters, friends, summers as distinct entities, boyfriends, concerts, life seemed so simple as a rock and roll girl, as Sugar Magnolia. Sigh.

2 comments:

Audrey said...

Hi. This is a good reminder that's it's always okay to call that old friend or long lost family member. I always psyche myself out, but I think you're right that's it's good not to let those things go by.

Stillwater Heron said...

"summers as distinct entities"..
They were like that weren't they..
I'd forgotten how wonderful they felt, like a magic land..