Friday, March 24, 2006

The Yaye Memorial Library


Tallulah and I had ourselves a serious little stroll down Memory Alley this week. It wasn't the Lane we usually travel, this place was much darker and more secretive than that. And after nearly 30 years of friendship, we discovered that there were things about one another we didn't know -- and some things we had forgotten over the years. It's startling to realize there is soooo much to know about another person. We're not chapters, books or even comprehensive sets of encyclopedias, we're each whole libraries.

When you talk about your life with a long trusted friend, you uncover fragments that become whole pictures that link to stories which turn out to be parts of books that have been stored on hidden shelves housed in locked wings of your library. And like cleaning out a musty basement (something I non-metaphorically spent time doing last week), this can freshen the air and get rid of some garbage, but its also shines light on some nasty corners. You can find yourself startled by your own stories, unsettled by your revelations.

As far back as I can remember, I've had a recurring dream. I'm in a house -- sometimes I live there, sometimes I'm just visiting -- and through chance I discover a door, elevator or stairway that leads me to rooms and floors I've never seen before in the house. I'm usually surprised and delighted by the discovery. Yet, there is always a point in the dream where I wonder why I didn't already know about the spaces or wonder if I once knew and somehow forgot them, and that I must be very short-sighted indeed not to have noticed them before. Have you had this dream?

Well, that's pretty much how I'm feeling right now.

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