Monday, November 2, 2009

In my new way of writing - not focusing so much on hard news, I want to share some soft news about something wonderful that has happened to me. Recently I wanted to find out more info on a person I met and had to register on a website to read the only solid information out there. In the process I linked my married and maiden names online for the first time. ANd then voila, 3 days later comes an email from my best friend from over 40 years ago. I joined the site for $10 to read it.

I knew the person had been my dearest friend at one point, but after a hurt that occurred a long time ago, her attempted amends were thwarted by my scar tissue; healing remained dormant. The injured tissues were covered over, long forgotten until my procrastinating forays online invited this blast from my past.

It was odd because for me being online is an anonymous grazing activity. It has supplanted just about every other technique that I formerly used to procrastinate. I no longer do much housecleaning or fiction writing, because being on the computer gives me a feeling of busyness and production that seems to meet many of my needs for achievement and accomplishment. But never before has it produced such a surprise visitor.

This dear soul from so long ago in my life has really touched me. It's as if something buried all of those years ago, which had apparently caused a lot of pain for us both, went underground but didn't heal. It is now being unearthed it seems - to heal. And the amount of loving kindness and healing that she has heaped on me - via her writing and warmth - has come at just the right time for me.

In my fifties now and reviewing my life and decisions I made, and the course I took and where I'm headed, I've been seeking a good "story" of my life - an explanation - sort of like an elevator speech - for what's up with me now. The truth is that mostly I'm at a loss as to how to explain myself - even to myself. Like many overachievers it was going to be difficult for me to measure up to my own standards. Yet as a professional storyteller, I'd like to have one about myself. A good one, and yes, I like happy endings.

My old friend has never heard my story and in my retelling, a great byproduct has been gaining a deeper insight into myself and seeing why I did what I did through a more mature and forgiving lens. I am so so grateful this friend has refreshed my recollections of me when I was so young, at such a formative time in my life. In truth I can barely remember that time. As the glimpses sink in, and get filled out with more details, I want to remember more fully who I was then and what I wished for. I think it would help me now to know it.

You know how when a building is constructed, a cornerstone is often created and buried beneath a precious box contains keepsakes of the era. Years later, if the building is torn down to make way for something new, the box gets opened and memories depicting another era see the light of day. And in a flash there it is - instant karma - to the full flavor of another time and if you're lucky, a fleeting glimpse of what that other time meant to you.

That's what this reunion has meant for me. It has provided me with a new perspective on something buried long ago.

I'm sure many people have had these internet reunions. I often read about long lost twins or siblings reuniting after 50 years. And yet I wonder how many little healings occur all over the planet because of people like my friend who had the courage to reach out. My new friend has opened me in a way I've not experienced. By remembering who I was then, I see things I hadn't realized may have mattered. Back then I was more open and free-spirited. I'm glad to be in touch with that. I want my dear friend to know how much I am grateful that she had the courage to search for me. It seems I too have been looking for myself for a long time. Thanks for helping me connect some of the dots.

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