November 17, 2004

You Can't Go Home Again

Spent a lot of time on the computer today. I was just looking around at some of the journal community sites. I found the journal, Up From Sloth, of one of my friends from the first time in Korea. She is back in Washington State now, since she is from here. Then I found the journal of a well-known journal keeper back when I was writing in my first journal. Her Internet name was Gingko and she wrote Dreaming Among the Jade Clouds. The final entry, several years old now, was written by her husband after she committed suicide. I was a bit shocked and it seemed morbid, but I read the whole entry. I never even knew her except by reputation and reading a few entries and e-mails that she wrote in Diary-L. Nevertheless compelled to read on, I found a fittingly beautiful and poetic tribute to her which also expressed his deep grief.

You can’t go home again. You can’t recapture the old times. Reading, she seemed like a stranger, but there was also a sense of deja-vu. After I was off the computer and doing something else, just thinking, the events and the tone of her last couple of entries that I read seemed strangely familiar. I used to read her journal when I was in Massachusetts and she was still in Korea. I continued reading after she moved back to Washington State. We would e-mail each other every once in a while, but the journal was the main way that I kept up with her. She would also read mine sometimes. I thought, didn’t I read the same thing years ago? Haven’t I seen the pictures that she had on her index page before? I’m sure not, but it felt that way. Her latest entries are from a trip to China. That made it seem more familiar. She was back in Asia visiting a friend or maybe a research colleague. When she came back to Washington State she started working on an advanced degree in Psychology. That is what drew her back here, the opportunity to continue her studies and pursue her goals.

After all this, I decided to write e-mails to some long-distance friends that I haven’t heard from in a while. Once you let too much time pass, it’s very hard to keep in touch. Even doing my best, I have only been able to keep in touch with a small number of the people who have come in and out of my life over the years. I’ve come to accept that and try my best to always appreciate everyone for whatever time that they are in my life. I highly value, though probably don’t show it enough, those precious few who have continued to weave a thread in my life over all the time and distance.

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