Social networking. Today was the “social” part, the part about reconnecting with old friends and colleagues. I’m on facebook but haven’t really used it regularly and explored all the options. It was my birthday yesterday and I had the loveliest flow of birthday messages through facebook- it really warmed my heart. But the best surprise of all was a chat window open with a “Hi Robin” from an old friend I haven’t talked with much for years. She lives in Chicago, a place I called home for 8 1/2 years before moving to Los Angeles. We also were both in the School of Art at the University of Michigan and that alone bonds us in a lasting and unique way. A simple answer back and we were chatting away, catching up on what we’ve been doing for the last number of years, what is ahead, big life plans and little ‘what is for dinner’ plans. I forgot how large her vision is and how deep her thoughts. Little bits reminded me. And we had a laugh about a life theory of mine that she still quotes, that sometimes you have to close your eyes and run blindly into the light.
Yes, honeydew, it brings it all back. And I can close my eyes and remember a life I used to live in a different place. The smells of fall, living in the same neighborhoods, meeting at the Melrose for brunch, drinking lots and lots of coffee, wind whipping our cold faces downtown, the metal stairs at The Reader, little Camerino, Albert and Vera, heated discussions, laughing till it hurt and we couldn’t breathe. The moody seasons, the spectacular architecture, music and plays... there was always something to go and do. The busy, thriving pace of city life. Life there was often so very intense.
And I love my life now, in a very different place and a very different existence. But what a treat to be transported back to a girl I used to be. It’s like finding the book you lost and remembering why you liked the characters so much, why the writing touched your heart and why the thrill of it made it hard to put down. So in a very unexpected way, a little facebook chat turned out to be the best birthday gift I could have imagined. Thank you girlfriend.