A young oriental man (probably in his mid 30s) and I were seated in a bright room talking about our lives. I had been somewhat directionless lately, but I thought perhaps my companion had been profitably using his time, maybe by writing poetry. As we talked I realized that we were very similar and that we had had common experiences.
When he told me how he had once made a list of the important relationships which he had shared with people, I spurted out, "I did that too!." I quickly thought, however, that I was interrupting him and that I should let him tell his story.
Nevertheless, I soon began relating what I had discovered when I had examined my own relationships with people. I told him when I had been in my late 20s I had left my father and my mother, and I had thought that my relationships with them had reached an end. I told him that I had considered those relationships "passé." I put emphasis on the word "passé" because I knew it was borrowed from French and I thought the man, being able to speak French, would appreciate my use of the word.
I continued saying, however, that I had later listed and examined my relationships and that I had realized that my relationships with my parents were on top of my list and that they remained my two most important relationships. I felt I was always welcome at my parents' homes and I didn't feel like an intruder with them. It was as if I could always live with my parents without feeling as if I were imposing. My companion asked, "So you went back?"
I told him I had returned. I wanted to be sure to explain that I hadn't gone back to live with my parents, since I thought I couldn't actually live with them – I had merely wanted to visit them. I then wanted to explain that I had had the same type of experience with my step-grandfather Clarence and my grandmother Mabel. I felt as if I could always stay with them without feeling as if I were imposing or depleting their possessions. A slight feeling still remained, however, that I did to some small extent (such as wear on the carpet) put wear on their possessions – wear which would be noticed by those who inherited their possessions.
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