Friday, January 14, 2011

Moving On

At a memorial service yesterday I saw a lot of people with whom I once worked. It's appropriate for the photo to be a little fuzzy, as I discovered my memory to be.

"Remember the time we all...?"

Not really.

"You were there when so and so..."

Was I?

It was nice to see them, or at least some of them, gathered in the name of someone we once knew and liked, even loved. Some people have moved further on than others, though moving on in space and time is not always the same as moving on in spirit.

14 comments:

Margaret said...

Lovely photo and thoughtful commentary. We all move on at our own paces, for good or for bad, don't we?

Petrea said...

I think we do, Margaret. And I found that some, who were still working at the same old job, were more content and whole with themselves than some who had soared to the heights, so to speak.

Trish said...

amazing how the memory gets a little fuzzy with time! had a conversation with someone earlier this week who was *sure* I said one thing 30 years ago. I know I didn't, but he was *sure*. I let him be "right", as there was no use arguing memories and he seemed to need to be the "winner" of our memories together and I knew at that moment, I would not make the effort to see him any time soon.

Sometimes, more is not always better. I have a room full of friends who think they have made their goals---but they aren't content and don't really have a lot in spirit or heart. Sad, but interesting.

Bellis said...

Your beautiful photo of the roses would make a lovely Sympathy card.

I'm intrigued by the last paragraph. At one place where I used to work, the ones left behind are much less happy than those who left. I guess it depends on the management?

Petrea said...

Thirty years is plenty of time to fuzz even a young brain, Trish.

I think it depends on a lot of things, Bellis, and of course I only took away impressions of one brief afternoon. But a couple of people who had been there ages--one over thirty years--seemed to me the most radiant and self-confident.

Susan Campisi said...

I want to smell those lovely white roses, literally and figuratively.

Karen said...

What I've noticed with old friends is that memories that are important to me, and crystal-clear in my mind, are not remembered at all by others. And vice versa.

I guess memory is so subjective, and we all "imprint" on different things.

It is disconcerting, though, when someone "swears" you did something and you can't remember it at all!

Petrea said...

Interesting, Susan, I guess that's the point and I hadn't really thought of it that way.

I know what you mean, Karen. Something important to me may be meaningless to someone else and vice versa.

Katie said...

What an odd sensation it must have been to have the past and present thrown together like that. It is weird that often what we remember about an event and what other people remember is so different. Very thought-provoking post as well as a lovely photo.

Petrea said...

Thank you, Katie. I suppose it's an odd sensation but we all have it, especially on occasions like these.

Ms M said...

Lovely photo and very thoughtful post and comments. Memory can be a strange bird. Once when I was teaching a memoir writing class, there were a brother and sister in the class who had radically different memories of a particular incident that happened when they were kids.

Petrea said...

I've had the same experience, Ms. M. My sisters, brother and I all remembered a particular event, but each of us would tell the story in a completely different way. It had significance for us all, but for different reasons.

Trish said...

funny thing about this "swearing"...altho some of my thoughts and ideas have changed in those almost 30 years, this one, I know where I stood and I remember what I said clearly--especially since I wrote in a journal at the time about the event that I just came across now that I'm returned from my trip and went looking for it. I think he was confusing me with someone else. He WAS right about one thing, we didn't agree back then. His insistence now of being right ensured that there was no chance in hell I was going along with his ideas today.

However, the difference of opinion on events...is why police and lawyers have SUCH a hard time--even with first hand "witnesses".

TheChieftess said...

Yes, a lovely commentary...and such truth in the words...