Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Oldest Friends

Yesterday I had lunch with several people in my poetry class.  One mentioned weekly meeting with "my oldest friend, from the first grade."  A little later another mentioned a recent trip when he visited a college friend and had a very enjoyable talk as both are now retired from the same profession. I hear more and more people reconnecting with friends from much earlier in their life. The reconnection is a kind of assurance, I think. But, too, as in the poem I came across I discover that "Look!" moment. I feel the facades, the pretenses we used to live the middle part of our lives have been worn away by the years and we have "turned into ourselves" -- those selves are the ones the first grade friend, or college friend, knew before we went separate ways, so now we recognize one another and are validated by being recognized as who we really are by those old friends.

The poet is Linda Pastan; the title is 25th High School Reunion

We come to hear the endings
of all the stories
in our anthology
of false sarts:
how the girl who seemed
as hard as nails
was hammered
into shape;
how the athletes ran
out of races;
how under the skin
our skulls rise
 to the surface
like rocks in the bed
of a drying stream.
Look! We have all
turned into
ourselves.

2 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

June -- Great post. Yes, I do believe that we do reconnect as ourselves. I have, within the last five years or so, reconnected with a few of my old friends from both elementary school and high school. The pretense of the middle years does mellow.The older years are warm, compassionate and full of understanding. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Thanks, Barbara, that's exactly how I feel.