Tuesday, September 26, 2006

It's a funny thing how I look with fondness now on the days I hated so much: elementary school. Well the lectures and exams--these I do not miss. But the building--those floors, those walls--I breathe very low as my mind walks those familiar halls. Five years! That's a sixth of my life--nearly half my life at the time. The memory is reinforced by a visit to the school a few months ago.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who derives great pleasure from visiting places from the past. I must visit Ottawa again someday--Nortel, the Met church, my lodgings (what was the street?). The brain seems to enjoy retreading its old grooves. It is a bittersweet pleasure--the bitterness comes from knowing that the past is now out of reach, regardless of how ardent our desire to visit it. Time, unlike location, cannot be revisited.

And I do not need to go far to experience a place from the past. In this house, the house I've lived in since a child, there are corners and closets that I have not gazed upon in years. Let us go to one now.

Here is an object I have not looked at in a while. A ceramic chinese lantern. It has been on the earth perhaps as long as my 30 years. Still the same green and brown colors. And yet I have never noticed until this moment what is inside: something suspended by four threads, or steel wires. Perhaps it will be another 30 years before I examine the contents.


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