Posted by: syncopated1 | June 1, 2011

A Near Perfect Memory

Borrowed without permission from Brunswick Rich's photos

6:00 AM, December 29th, 2010. Indiana is a cold, cold state at this time, even by a Mainer’s standards. Meg and Abe’s house rests in the quintessential farmland of that part of the country; long and flat views had in all directions, with tall, thin trees in single rows to break the wind between fields shallowly covered in snow. Meg and Abe had just been married the day before, and we had had a raucous party long into the night; dragging myself from bed to get dressed and drive 22 hours to Maine with Land was no easy feat. He generously offered to drive first. But, up I got, and we loaded the car, collected Meg’s cousin Charlee (she had a flight out of Ohio to catch), and we turned Land’s little Honda Fit out of the drive.

Please play this song before reading any further.

Driving away from Muncie is a morning that has settled indelibly into my mind. Cruising along in Land’s passenger seat, still only half awake I felt a strong mix of emotions within me. We were headed east. In the last several years this has been the cardinal direction for me as it always seems to point home. I enjoy traveling, but I don’t travel easily and being eastbound once again calmed my weary mind. As the sun rose coldly over iced in fields and brush a sense of loss mingled amongst my calm driving my heart into a gentle melancholy. I had just watched my best friend marry a great man. Having been extremely close to Meg for the last 7 years I was suddenly aware that we both had found what was making us happy and it had inexorably pulled us apart in a very real way.

Sad though I was, I was also aware that this pivotal year of Meg and Abe had allowed growth in my life I was neither expecting nor was I aware of it. Land and I had, impossibly, transformed ourselves into not only friends, but best friends: both of us aware of our respective strengths and weaknesses, all of which encompassed by a certain need to encourage and support the other as we settled into our new adult lives as Meg was settling into Indiana and married life. Hope then, for my brother and I; for Meg and Abe; for the car pointed east with my heart and life, pushed my melancholy back towards my calm to coalesce into a deep pensive state.

Unable to collect my mind and focus on any one of these I was left to gaze out the window across farmsteads bathed in the mid-winter light of a clear day. As the sun rose ahead of us, the sky opened into a blue so light it was almost white, and this song randomly played on Land’s Ipod. I was surprised to find myself listening to a song that perfectly matched my mind and my heart at the time. But the song’s effect was readily apparent as I settled peacefully back into my seat and let the sun, song and scenery wash over me and away as Land drove.


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