Tuesday, September 20, 2005

the way you look 10 years later

You work as: a lawyer in an insurance agency, docent in a gallery featuring local hand-blown glass, a mother of two beautiful girls, a photographer in your spare time, an administrative assistant, an artist in new york city, coaching soccer, a social worker, writing a screenplay or three, a terrorist researcher at the center for disease control, a veritable nun living in isolation from culture, in an ashram seeking yogic nirvana.

You are still: warm and friendly, insincere yet smiling, uncomfortable with who you are, apologetic about who you’ve become, more open and less shy, raucous with a sparkling laugh that fills the room with color, squealing with delight, aware of imminent possibilities, not sure who to side with on issues of faith, fake and straightforward about it, fake and subtle about it, unsuspecting, naïve but more careworn

We have come to this thing called a reunion with such different motivations. I guess I am glad to reconnect and see that things are different and yet not so different- that we end up just looking better ten years down the line. One person giggling with wine still lingering in the air comments three times how of course I had to be there, it’s as if all is right with the world and continues on remembering me as laughing, laughing, full of laughter. Even as we comment, “did you say laughter three times,” and I’m touched by her gesture, even if laced with wine.

Another friend and I encounter each other as if inevitability led to this moment, that if not here, our paths might cross in rome, los angeles, new york, and I learn that she no longer is impassioned over tori amos music, but plans to concoct a screenplay involving “plato’s the republic”- different, yet same. I can poke you and make assumptions from you because that’s how it’s always been and time hasn’t changed that.

i am reminded that seeds, if watered well and consistently can lead to stalk or fruit shooting through what used to be perceived as rocky soil, as one friend immediately rushes over and crushes me with a hug and a squeal. she later reveals her unease at coming, but relief in thinking if only we can reconnect it will be all worthwhile. Her life is one I have treasured for so long and to see the marked change in her makes joy swell within, even knowing how much we walked through together and through how much I did not accompany her. But here we are now, important to each other, and we are able to have the most real and penetrating conversation of all others, where all is laid bare because we speak the same language of faith in a room of friends and former colleagues whose faith is in themselves.

What would I have expected from a reunion might have consisted of blown up egos and people mixing who never had previously during the high school years, and yes, there was some of that. But still Sheila stood alone, unsure of how to introduce herself into conversations, with me thinking and wondering how this could be amended at our young/late age of waning twentysomethingness.

But the way you and I look ten years later is so much better than I could have expected. Leaving me so glad to see this is the way this decade has resolved itself for us.


Blogger Kelly G said...

You were brave to go to your reunion... i just couldn't...wouldn't do it myself. i am glad you shared your experience with us. When in Dallas always give me a call and we can meet up for coffee and a long chat. Miss you!

5:46 PM  
Blogger Sandra said...

Annelies, I think you captured your reunion really beautifully.

11:43 AM  
Blogger Bethany said...

It sort of still freaks me out a bit that we are all 10 years out of high school. Thankful...yes...but strange nonetheless. Your words are beautiful as always! If there's coffee and chatting happening in Dallas...let me know. I'd love to see you again!

12:04 PM  

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