It’s different getting to your seventies and looking back – the focus is softer, the memory forgiving. 2

I’ve been emailing with an old acquaintance from when I was a monk back in the 1960s and it seems that the correspondence is slowly moving towards a friendship. What an unusual development. It’s certainly not what I had expected.

Reconnecting with someone you knew as teenagers is always a crap-shoot. You have no idea what life has done to them. Have they become adults in the time between; are they able to look at the intervening years and see a shared history or are they stuck on the mythology of the past? And, if the reacquaintance proves awkward – difficult even, is it OK to resettle that person back in memory?

The past is a different country; they do things differently there. 3

Exchanging emails with an old classmate has been a great surprise. In memory he was a brooding clairvoyant who seemed to see much more than he could contain; that made him both scary and appealing. And, as a snotty teenager, I focused on the scary and repressed the pull to get to know him.

Fifty years later, I’m discovering a kindred spirit – a thinker, a hard worker, a self-made man, a responsible adult, a dad, a husband, a son-in-law, maybe a friend.

What a curious situation to find myself in …

So why the pic of the wreath on the gray-washed door?
The picture has the two elements that I’m struggling with – background and foreground – memory and clarity. The door is an old design, with age-old patina and classical hardware, the wreath, with its withering greens and garish ribbon, is 2019. And yet the two elements exist in alignment, in proper arrangement; they compliment each other.

They make a great visual composition.

1 – Dougie MacLean. Auld Lang Syne. 2014.
2 – It’s my 71st birthday.………………………….
3 – Hartley, L.P. The Go-Between. 1953.