Monday, October 19, 2015


Part of the 90+ acres donated in memory of my friend's parents.
I write with a friend on Sunday mornings. She calls with a prompt, we write for half an hour and then I call her and we read aloud to each other what we’ve written. This morning’s prompt was to think about how we heal our hearts. I think we do it with our stories. Yesterday I attended a dedication of some land donated to my town’s Land Trust. Two of the daughters of the original owners - girls I grew up with, played on that land with, became friends with - traveled some distance to be there. I had not seen one since high school. The elder, the sister who’d been my classmate since elementary school, I’d not seen in 47 years. They came for tea on Friday. On Sunday we visited their old homestead for the dedication ceremony. Here’s what spilled from me this morning in response to the healing prompt.

Day 1

An old friend, absent 47 years.
The shock to the heart of
a familiar face in an unfamiliar setting,
the past sitting here sipping tea with me
in my present surroundings.
A hug, some tears.
A great spilling of memories,
words tumbling over themselves.
Do you remembers and I didn’t know that!s—
The unsuspected hole in the heart
that only stories can fill,
new stories of old memories.

How like a bubble is
the place we inhabit ,
floating in our thoughts,
peering through transparent walls,
making up tales about what we see.

The universe is full of bubbles.

Day 2

A piece of familiar land,
a dedication ceremony.
An early fall day of dropping temperatures
and sudden snow squalls
ending in gentle, sunny stillness.

In between,
stitching the past to the present,
a spate of words recalling famous parents,
a whole philosophy of living
summed up and engraved
on a plaque on a rock in the woods
where, as children,
we played without paying attention
to fame.

Day 3

Bubbles burst.
New ones form.
An emptying is always required
before a refilling.

New memories forged on the porch of old ones.
New stories to heal the heart
that longs without warning
for old times,
old places.

A reunion of moments,
a union of yesterday, today, tomorrow.
A promise to return,
another to keep in touch,
a third to remember.

The way to heal one’s heart
is to fill the hole with stories.


Barb said...

Stories that heal - I like that! This is a wonderful line: "New memories forged on the porch of old ones." I hope you can honor those 3 promises. The metaphor of memory (and life) as bubble is very apt.

Tabor said...

This is all very, very touching. I can feel these bubbles and our history of friendships is much like those bubbles. So beautiful and so fragile.

Hilary said...

Very moving. I've reconnected with a few people from my long ago but online or by phone call only. How lovely that you've met up with a friend from your past. You always express yourself so beautifully, Pauline.

Molly Bon said...

This is what makes life worthwhile --- reconnecting after so many years apart. I have a friend far away who believes we must reconnect, in person, at least every few years. Life's too short to go too long, or to be too busy, to spend time in the company of people we love.

Beautifully said Pauline.

Out on the prairie said...

It's nice to touch bases, I hope it is sooner next time. I had someone look me up and our lives never seemed to have changed as friend.

Wisewebwoman said...

I love this post. I've reconnected with old friends too and the joy of those bubbles can't be quite articulated but you've done a find job here!


Pauline said...

Barb, thanks for the comment. I will do my best to keep those promises!

Tabor - that's the thing about bubbles, they're at once fragile and yet somehow durable.

Hilary - it was a time out of time.

Molly, how true. This friend and I have already made plans for another meet-up, this time on the west coast where she lives.

OOTP - yes, it's great when the friendship has been uninterrupted despite the passage of years.

Thanks, WWW. Sometimes it's hard to find the right words but they're there in the feelings, yes?