I didn’t know what to say about this word, chosen by John. I thought and thought but couldn’t come up with anything that wasn’t really obvious or completely trite, or both.
Recently, my parents asked me to take all my stuff out of their attic. Which was not unreasonable, given that I left home fifteen years ago. This afternoon I’ve been going through it, deciding what to keep, what to throw away, what to give to charity. I’ve been though enormous stacks of A-Level notes, papers from committees I left when I was nineteen, trinkets and cuttings and old clothes and books. And several box files of letters and photos and cards. Piles of letters from people I’ve known for years, and more poignantly, letters from I’ve lost touch with. I found a photo of me and a university boyfriend, in which we look impossibly young, and a pile of letters from my first boyfriend – including the one in which he dumped me. (In his defence, he was only 18 and we lived 200 miles apart). I look at those letters from people who, at the time, I loved dearly and thought I’d be friends with forever, but either by drifting or deliberate severing, we’re no longer in touch. It’s the way of the world, of course. Many of the cards from long-ago friends just make me feel a little nostalgic, but others – well, others have made me sad that I was so careless with my friendships when I was young. Maybe this is trite and obvious after all, but friendship is sacred.
Please go and see John for the other participants. I’m off to hit Google.