From Past to Present
From time to time a prickling sensation goes through my mind. Words want to flow. Particularly during an encounter with waves of old, fond memories. I am not writing about the small every day happenings, which brings back forgotten memories. I am writing about clear small passages, which make your stomach full with a whirlwind of butterflies.
Smiling, you have interlocked our eyes, while telling me to show you more trust. In my words here I will give it a try. An experiment; I will let you into my deepest levels of thoughts. Into the sparkling energy of my memory lanes, that no one for years has touched. The words here might not even be for your eyes but more just an expression of my own selfish needs to express my thoughts on life.
After receiving your message I called my sister. She lives nearby the place where we were supposed to meet up. By chance she was at home making dinner. While eating I asked her a simple question about our family and our Christmas plans. Awaiting an answer, I put down my hand on her leg to get her attention away from her phone. Slowly her eyes leveled with mine. She looked right through me. The first tear found its way down her cheek. She was lost for words and was numb for a second.
Finally ready to speak, she looked at me as if trying to find some sort of rest, "Madelaine is dead".
Madelaine is Mias mother. I meet Mia years ago. From my point of view, one of my sisters closets friends. Madelaine had cancer detected in her body, when our own parents divorced a decade ago. Two years ago, my sister asked me if I would mind spending the better part of my birthday watching her receive her master degree.
For me, my birthdays are just another day in the calendar. My sister, on the other hand, finds them important, so I felt how uncomfortable it made her just asking. Life passes by for all of us. No real need to make a big fuss about it. Someone might need the attention more than we do.
Mia received her degree together with my sister and Madelaine had made the trip. Coming from the other side of the country, she seemed quite exhausted. Standing in the ballads of celebrating afterwards, we ended up in a small group the four of us. Settled in front of an old painting, Madelaine started the discussion noting its ugliness. Mia laughed and shook her head. Pulling my sisters arm toward the champagne they left me standing next to her mother.
She continued onwards with her discretization of the painting. After the first few lines minded on me she turned her head and asked me whether I saw it as well. To be frank I did not. But human, as I am, my answer was not that of the truth. She turned back to the picture. Asked me again if I was sure. Silence, only the background chatting was to be heard. "You see, I am not really talking about the painting, even thou it representing what I feel very well", she continued "I knew this painting back in the days. I was the one bringing it here. But to me it has lost its beauty".
Before she could continue Mia and my sister returned with an extra glass for me. Not for her. We drifted back into a conversation about their dissertations and when people started to leave the place I asked them if they wanted to join our planned dinner. My sister was the first to answer. It was not necessary for me to do more for her on my day. Mia and Madelaine on the other hand were more than happy to accept it, as long as they would not be an inconvenience to us. Not to me, I told them.
Seldomly is life only about one self. It is not about holding yourself in the middle but more about sharing the space and letting go. And the warmth feeling which was emanating from both of them were more than a thank you in it self.
That day has marked me in more ways than I can understand even today and more than I am letting on in my daily life. Madelaine caught my attention in front of the painting and put together with her warm personality she have left her mark on me, which has changed my perspective on life little by little afterwards. The irony of our short conversation might be that afterwards, I have acquired a tendency to recognize how other people affect our lives in ways we cannot comprehend. For in the end, other people’s touch on us might be bigger than your own ambitions and visions.