Friday, June 3, 2011

The Narratives of Our Lives

85ยบ ~ highs in the mid to upper nineties for the next week, at least, possibly 100 on Monday, oh joy, summer has obliterated any little bit of spring we had left, the robin on the nest pants continually to try to stay cool, the eggs may hatch early due to the heat, according to my sources

Where I've been?  Lebanon, TN (30 miles east of Nashville).  Why?  Reuniting with a college roommate (hi, Michelle!). 

one of the Nashville bridges
Like many people in the pre-email, pre-Facebook days, Michelle and I graduated and kept in touch for a few years.  Then, life intervened and we drifted apart.  We were living half a continent apart, when long-distance phone calls were still expensive, and both of us were starting careers and working on relationships. 

Luckily for me, when my book came out and Michelle read about it in our alumni newsletter, she emailed me and we reconnected.  Emails were great and then Facebook made things better.  Last year, I took a look at the map and realized that we both live on I-40 and that somewhere east of Nashville would be halfway.  The planning began.

On Tuesday night, we saw each other in person for the first time since 1994, and, magically, we picked up right where we left off.  We talked and talked and talked and walked in some heat while we talked, ate in some diners and restaurants while we talked, and drank coffee in one excellent bakery while we talked.  While we had filled each other in over email on the basics of our lives, there were lots and lots of gaps, lots and lots of stories that needed telling. 

As I drove home yesterday, I thought about the narratives of each of our lives, and how we chose to tell them.  We were not chronological.  Our stories skipped like rocks on a flat Minnesota lake.  Luckily, we had bonded at that age just between our youth and our adulthood, and so we had a lot of foundational knowledge about each other.  I also thought about how I framed each of my stories, trying to be honest and thorough.  This is one of the amazing things about a true friend: that even after nearly two decades, I was still comfortable talking intimately with Michelle and I knew that she would treat my narrative with care.  Michelle is one of the most amazing, talented, and caring people that I know, and I am so thankful that she is back in my life!

~~~~~

Now, aside from a brief and nearby weekend trip, I should be settled down at home for at least a month.  Expect the poetry to begin churning!

4 comments:

Michelle said...

Thank you for this amazing post, dear friend. I recounted to Bob much the same story about our trip, albeit less poetically. I have been thinking of all the things I forgot to tell you! It was truly wonderful to reconnect with you.

Michelle

Kathleen said...

What a wonderful story of friendship! I have a friend like that, too, and now we LIVE IN THE SAME TOWN again and will meet for iced coffee today!

Plus, take a look at a narrative of Francine Prose's life in the new Granta! Feminism theme.

Ah, and I see my code word to post today is "crone."

Michelle said...

By the way, Sandy, here is the image library I was trying to remember: http://creativecommons.org/. A very handy site indeed.

Sandy Longhorn said...

Michelle, you are so welcome. It was all beautiful. Thanks for the link to the image library. You rock!

Kathleen, wow, you are soooo lucky to be in the same town. Thanks for the recommendation, as well.