Crumbs From the Corner: Adventures in Woolgathering

Monday, February 4, 2008

Soundtrack to an Afternoon

"I wonder what Piglet is doing," thought Pooh.
"I wish I were there to be doing it, too."
-Winnie the Pooh

It is extraordinary how music can change the very shape and mood of one's day. There I was, listening to some tunes from the older section of our music collection. There seemed no particular reason to choose the ones I did this afternoon but when considered, they represent a certain period in the life of Spouse and I that we did not know was slipping away. We went to Ireland for Christmas 2004; we were living in California at the time. Spouse returned before I did so that I could have an extended holiday because it had been three years since my last visit. On Spouse's return he discovered that the company which had enabled us to live blissfully in a small mining town in Northern California and to get him deeper into a fascinating career, was about to close its doors and offer my Spouse a relocation package to Texas. There were scant few opportunities of that type in the town we resided or indeed in the surrounding area. Spouse would have to commute a long distance if we were to maintain our happy existence in our quaint town.
Sacrifices must be made on occasion. We always knew that as long as the company held firm, we could stay in the place we loved but that it would not go on forever. Nothing does. Either Spouse chose, for him, a less-meaningful job along with our favourite place; or a choice of opportunities and a new home. We chose the latter and sadly neither quite worked out for us. Nevertheless we had to leave and on my return from Ireland we set to work packing up the home where we had been most happy. I had gone a little wild and purchased a collection of music while in Ireland; mostly of the non-English-language variety. For weeks on end as we prepared to leave there came the endless strains of Shakira, Carla Bruni, Manu Chao, and others. That was our first time to hear any of them and so the music entwined itself with our sadness and quite a bit of
We are, I suppose, the odd sort that even while aching to stay are rearing to go and it causes a whirlwind of contradiction and turmoil inside both of us.
My college friend came over to see me shortly after I returned to California. From behind my back I produced some Irish honey. She was considerably thrilled, until we told her that we would be moving on shortly. She was not the only one to be dismayed: quite a lot of our friends are in California.
It was while playing the tracks of those days and ruminating on this same time of year that it occurred to me: I have not seen any of those friends for two years. Then I realised that it was in fact three, and I was horrified.
Worse still, I wonder, if I am to be truthful, how many times in my life I will see any of them again. My only recommendation is to bring a large pot of honey to one's nearest friend, sit and enjoy it, and talk at length. Time goes by too quickly.

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