Do you visit the past of those you love?
30 years later to say hello to my wife’s dance teacher.
We happened to be in town when there was a dance festival and my wife wanted to go see if her old teacher might still be there. She was and so was her grown daughter (who was in my wife’s teacher’s belly when my wife was taking classes).
Maybe I should have been a historian, I just love trying to imagine other people’s lives.
I think it’s why I like reading books, travel, home exchange and visiting people in their homes. There’s just something about seeing how other people live or lived. I don’t usually want to switch places with them, but that’s not the point, it’s just informational, it’s learning and if it’s someone close to you, it’s getting closer to their past, to who they are–or were.
Friends you grew up with have histories that you know most of. Newer acquaintances might share so little of their past that it’s too much to cover so you don’t even bother … “So, where did you grow up?” Oh, forget it. But someone you’re close to and have been with for years? You think you know everything (well, you don’t really think that), but of course you know bits and pieces, little scrapbook images and chapters, maybe not even chapters, but sentences.
Seeing the girls on the stage in front of the village city hall and thinking back 30 years to when my wife was there is an exercise in history. But it’s the history of the person I’m closest to and love the most. I tried to think back and make the square 30 years old: what would be different? Not much: hair styles, cars, music technology, but still enthusiastic, nervous, and dancing girls. One of them was her way back then. I close my eyes and I can see her on the stage. I open my eyes and see her on the same stage next to me.