I didn't find the thing that I needed, having put it in a place for safe keeping. It's safe alright. Safe from me and everyone else.
But there were other items I found during this gumshoe activity that made me smile, laugh and remember old friends.
I found notes from my mother. They were mostly utilitarian; "I'm sending you this clipping that I thought was interesting" or 'here's some stickers I thought you'd like'. A few years ago I went through a similar search mission and found a lot of these notes. I decided at that time that I would keep them all, because when my mother passes on, I will still get to have her with me.
I will have all the things she wrote to me at my fingertips and that will bring me comfort when I miss her and she is no longer writing me notes about the clipping from the local newspaper. Some of them may end up being out of context, removed from whatever they were attached to but that will make me laugh. And laughter always brings healing.
I came across a card from a co-worker and friend from many years ago. She sent me flowers because I was inconsolable in my broken heart and her note told me that she was my true friend when things were seemingly bleak. It made me smile and I wrote to her and told her so.
We had to write to each other, putting pens to paper, to recount what had been happening since the last letter. The ones with multiple pages on college rule were the ones you cherished. Because that took time and that was special! Even boys wrote letters and sent them!!
As I was uncovering this treasure trove of memories of my little life, I thought how hurried and un-special our lives and relationships can become. We no longer have time to write letters; we're too busy with our blackberries to even spell properly. We lose interest so quickly and there is no more sentiment. I won’t discount the efficiency of email but for some of the really important stuff I wish we still cared enough to send our very best instead of coping out with text messaging.
Aren't we always gasping in awe about how, could we have possibly let so much time go by without spending time or communicating with those that we have connected deeply with?
Those are the times, the notes, and the moments when we feel belonging and alive.
Facebook, Friendster, MySpace all have claimed to be tools to connect with people. But it's not a real connection. It's a substitute. Connection is listening to a guy play a song he wrote and having it move you to tears. Connection is feeling like you've known someone your whole life and telling them so. Connection is reveling in the excitement of a shared idea and a meeting of the minds. These things have to be done in person or at the very least, over the telephone.
Connection is not an email of carefully crafted words. Connection is not a text message or a web page or a voicemail. This is what we've devised and created so we can avoid true connection. Why are we so scared? Why are we so scarred?
We all want the same things. We want our lives, our existence, to matter to someone else.
We don't want to feel alone or lonely. We don't want to feel empty or cold on the inside. We don't want to be left behind or left out. We want magic and love and we want love to be magic. We don't want to be discarded or forgotten. And we don't want to be hurt for believing and giving love.
I think about these things a lot because it is usually my undoing when a connection fades or ceases to be. As a little girl, a teenager even, I would cry to see visitors leave or when I left someone I adored.
I want to hang on, I want to cling and it’s because my heart wants so much to give out its love and devotion. It feels unnatural to have to stop that flow from one heart to another.
It’s quite a conundrum really. We crave understanding and union with other souls. We long to be intimately known and yet we tend to run away when someone comes too close. This, I believe, is what is known as the human condition. I just don’t really understand it.
I only know that I want more of those moments that are authentic. The moments when I hear a song lyric and am found in it even though I didn’t write the words. The moments when I am singing to a crowd of people and smile at the person in the front row and they smile back. The moments when I am sitting in peaceful silence watching a butterfly with my sister. I want more of those.
So, my search for that document led me here. Where instead of finding a piece of paper, I uncovered parts of the past that helped me find another piece of my soul to share.
*(Yes, I realize that I am posting this in an online blog. Isn't irony fun?)