coffee & photographs

mugIt’s a dreary day here in the Pacific Northwest. It’s cold, too. The Seattle area didn’t buy tickets to the global warming event, nor offer to host it. Apparently.

It’s day nine of the Umpteenth and One diet. I’m drinking a mocha. No one bought it for me, it’s not a reward for changed behaviour and no one is forcing me to drink a special treat. I just made it… and am drinking it. I didn’t get a “grande-mocha… whip? yes” last night. I drank coffee. Just coffee with half&half. That, and the sweetest conversations in a long time. I’d go back tonight if the whole venue could be repeated or at least continued.

We talked… Initially about the shocking stories in the news and the going’s on in our families… and then we shared pictures and stories and it was quite possibly the sweetest evening ever spent with the sisters in our fellowship. We each brought a handful of pictures of the different seasons of our lives and in so doing, briefly told our “life stories” as we described the settings of some of the photos. We’re all works in progress… some further down the road than others, but journeying together just the same. The only thing I wish… that all the sisters could’ve been there. It was intentionally designed to be a reflective sort of evening… the sort of evening that calls for or allows a vulnerability rarely displayed.

I think most of the time we, as women, would like to present the best possible persona of our selves and hope our prior failings, bad hair and manner of dress could just discreetly fade into the shadows of the past. But pictures don’t lie… they reflect all the good and the bad of the choices or lifestyles we intentionally or unintentionally live/lived. Photographs also have a way of revealing progress if we see them in the proper light. I immediately thought of the Sunscreen recording… and wished it were playing in the background. It starts like this…

quote Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.

But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked…

You’re not as fat as you imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum… “

We talked about things going on around us… where we, as women, have been and we attempted to catch a glimpse of where we’re going. I think we walked away realizing… the present is not all that bad, the future not all that scary and the past? It’s just that… days gone by, days we lived and can never repeat. I think we all smiled—glad we learned from those day and sort of sad we couldn’t see some of those sweet days again. I think we all came away with thoughts of endearment for each sister and probably much more compassionate having seen the paths each have traveled to become the women we are today. Just like I couldn’t grasp twenty years ago where I’d be today… though I think I can imagine… but deep down I know I’ve really no idea what the next twenty will bring.

I hope I’ll be sitting at the table at Starbucks with those same sisters looking over photographs and reminiscing about these good old days.

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