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Monday, April 12, 2010

Water under the Bridge

That's what he said. Water under the bridge. Thirty seven years ago he walked to his car,
drove away and we never spoke again. Today we are exchanging emails
after finding each other on Facebook.

A college love affair - crazy, confusing, youthful mistakes and regrets.
All those shared memories of that single bubble in time.

Trying to condense 37 years into an email. Marriages, divorces, births, deaths.
How do you make your life sound interesting yet be truthful. Do you tell all?
Do you embellish? Keep it lighthearted, or spew out all the grit and grime?

Summing it all up, your failures, your blessings, a balance of both,
trying to leave an impression of contentment, a good life.
Why should it matter? 37 years later, someone you have thought of,
but never contacted is suddenly in your address book,
their letter waiting in your email.

It has thrown me off kilter. Forced memories long buried. Why did I? Why didn't I?
Forced examination of self. Not always a comfortable exercise to be sure,
and in this case, quite difficult for me.
That last year we knew each other, was one of my most tumultuous.
I was not always kind to those who loved me
and Karma quickly smacked me down in return.

I struggle with the benefits versus the negatives of all this technology.
Being on Facebook and having a blog, I am still under the impression
that the benefits are in the lead. But all this goes deep, the intimacy we share
with virtual strangers, the risk of judgment by others. Scary stuff.

You are not assured of happy outcomes when you reconnect. Living so far from
my home town and having no family left there I have never attended a school reunion.
All those friends, long lost, are frozen in time in my memories.
They have not aged, they have not changed.
With FB, suddenly their photos are there and I study them with intensity,
shocked at first at how they've aged, ignoring what they would think
if they were able to see my photo, which I do not post.
I am awed by the bravery of all those who post their not always
flattering images for all to scrutinize. I am not that brave.

Bravery is required. To honestly type out the truth, with it's shame and triumph.
To face yourself on this Facebook as well as put your best face forward.

It IS all water under the bridge, these histories,
but those currents can swiftly take you somewhere
that you are not always prepared to visit. Keep your life vest handy.



joanne said...

very thought provoking...I had not considered many of these things, perhaps we should rethink the things we put out there for judgment from others. I am not that brave either but for me honesty always wins. I hope you find the answer you are looking for...take care. j

erin's art and gardens said...

i really am not interested in revisiting my past. i prefer to keep looking forward. i think communicating on the internet, although lots of fun, can cause problems because one can be EASILY certainly have me thinking of a certain old boyfriend of mine...i wonder how he is?

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dear Suzan
How well you write from the heart... your thoughts and fears.. loves and losses...joys and happiness...

It's funny how we sometimes forget those we loved so many years ago.. their memories fade. I wonder if our memory of them changes over the years... and wonder what people they have become.. You know I think the universe sends things to us when the time is right.. maybe this connection is required for some reason unknown to you right now...

I think I would be nervous too to try and sum up the years as you say.. but maybe that comes later.. maybe you just need to talk about the now to start the ball rolling... One good thing is, this internet world lets you take things at your own pace... Good luck my friend.. maybe an old friend will become new again.. xx Julie

Karmen said...

Beautifully written. My grandfather is turning 99 in August, and there is a family reunion. I have never been to one, so I know virtually no one who will be there. Your post makes me think: I will be brave and go. Why the heck not? None of us is getting any younger. Karmen

Queen Of The Armchair aka Dzintra Stitcheries said...

Wow...what an amazing story Suzan...37 years!!! So much would've happened in that time!!! How to condense it all into an email...can't even begin to think...perhaps just go with the flow for now...and like you say, keep it lighthearted...And yes, keep that vest handy♥x

June said...

Suzan, how this has touched me. You have written it all so well, so true. And I have loved every word and every thought behind the words.

I just joined facebook and thankfully have not had time to do much on it. I had a friend from a few years back contact me and it was kindda weird. I'm naive of course to think that only family would be able to connect with me. lol Not sure yet if I'm liking this FB thing.
Beautifully written friend, I am so glad that I came by to visit today!

Dee@FrenchBleuVintage said...

Yowza! I joined FB when I opened the shop and opened a floodgate as well. I wasn't prepared either. I try to respond and be polite, but it does make you think. thinking I need a better photo that is:) Seriously, its hard to know what to do. I just wake up - go to the computer and cringe some days. Be brave and go forward. There is an old Ralph Waldo Emerson poem that is called to mind here- but its too long to quote. Look it up if possible ~ it begins: Finish each day and be done with it.
Dee xo

Brenda said...

Suzan, I could read your blog all day long and I have. I discovered OldGreyMare this morning and haven't been able to stop reading. I love you're writing style . It' s right from the heart, so honest and real, so inspiring.