Saturday, January 19, 2008

Reconnect vs. Disconnect

Today I feel like part of a Wim Wenders movie, things surreal and black and white and German. After a Thursday evening bout with food poisoning and a Friday viewing of Wings of Desire I am thankful to be alive--in all seriousness.

Today I try to pay attention, at the coffee shop with Abby and Amanda, three chairs and a table. With Susan and talk of her studio in which I want to live some days. There's a woman whose MS is acting up and she and Ernie talk gently. There is other conversation about photos and writing and choices and editors.

There's a touch of spring in the air, though it is January. Spring makes me want to find people, reconnect. Ernie and I wonder back and forth about people we've known and where they've gone. I tell him about an old friend of mine. Yesterday I'd been poking around the internet when I found a website for calligraphy and handmade paper. My friend is a papermaker now and a small business owner and a workshop giver, offering paper making to public school children and adults around town.

I am surprised, this the guy I broke up with because, among other things, he'd never had a job. He hadn't needed to work because everything had been given to him. Last thing I knew he'd taken over his parents' clothing business and had recently become a father. That was 11 years ago. I remember because I took the call in the front room of our Newburyport apartment. I'd been married a year. We talked about kids. "You should have one of these," he said. "They're great." Then he described his typical day which did not involve much in the way of do-a-job work. He still had mostly everything he wanted, not much worrying or overworking. I felt a little jealous.

But I don't feel jealous now. I feel surprised and curious and wanting to know more. Spring is in the air and I want to know more. Why do people do what they do? Change? I'm going to ask. And I'm going to start by sending an e-mail to an old friend.

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