A pic from the past

This photo arrived from the void the other day. 

Shelagh's friends Wendy and John have been going through pics and reclaimed this one from oblivion for us. It shows their two boys and our two boys at the piano. Or, at least, their two boys (who both grew up to be musicians) and one of our two boys at the piano. Michael is the odd boy out in this pic. Characteristically, he makes his feelings known.

It's a gift to receive a photo that you never knew existed. What notes is Eamon playing? Look at how B. is looking at his brother's form. Alex is so happy. Michael is so not. And the candles like descending eighth notes. I find myself scouring a new old photo for whatever data it preserves from the burn of time. Their teeth. Their haircuts. Is Mikey holding some kind of stuffed animal?

The photo arrives with another insight. We carry each other's beings.

Growing older and losing friends to death is devastating. At 56, I am beginning to glimpse that ghastly truth. When friends die, that is the sad end of them, of course. And sad for those left behind, too. Because they take with them the stories they keep about the survivors. It's sad to have fewer and fewer people around who know your story. It's the definition of loneliness, perhaps. 

We should do a lot of things with the time we have. Telling and re-telling stories of each other, to each other, is one good use of that time. 

Thanks for the pic, Wendy, John. 


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