Losing Home and Letting Go

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Other items were so precious that the children clung to them even as they rowed. Fiona kept a pot of wormy garden dirt pressed between her knees. Millard had striped his face with a handful of bomb-pulverized brick dust, an odd gesture that seemed part mourning ritual. If what they kept and clung to seemed strange, part of me sympathized: it was all they had left of their home. Just because they knew it was lost didn’t mean they knew how to let it go.

-Hollow City: The Second Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Never What I Believed or Imagined

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I used to dream about escaping my ordinary life, but my life was never ordinary. I had simply failed to notice how extraordinary it was. Likewise, I never imagined that home might be something I would miss. Yet as we stood loading our boats in the breaking dawn, on a brand new precipice of Before and After, I thought of everything I was about to leave behind—my parents, my town, my once-best-and-only friend—and I realized that leaving wouldn’t be like I had imagined, like casting off a weight. Their memory was something tangible and heavy, and I would carry it with me.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

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Big Bird on the Chain Gang

Image source: Alibris.com

Music is weird. It can transport a person’s mind back to a time long-since past. It can lead the imagination into dangerously (sadly) hopeful places in the never-to-be-realized future. It transforms a moment so completely, an individual can (potentially) forget the important truths about the present reality. Fun, powerful, and necessary – music is power, magic, human strengths and human weaknesses all rolled into one.

When selecting quotes for this blog, I approach the selections from the perspective of printed poetry. Quotations are posted because of their strength without music. Which brings me to this selection; while I like both the song and the words, they are not something I would normally quote here on this blog.

Image source: AnytimeCostumes.com

However, every single time I hear this song I think of a friend I used to have – a really close non-romantic friend who is no longer around. I miss this old friendship and find myself dipping into a momentary sadness every time I hear this song – or see/hear Big Bird.

Yes, that’s right, Big Bird. I would like to say Big Bird was this individual’s favorite character but, honestly, it’s only because the personality and the voice of the Sesame Street character has an uncanny resemblance to my old friend.

While I was sifting through quotes and images, it occurred to me that the nature of music and the nature of both memory and human relationships are equally strange.

So, here is my example of a combination of seemingly incongruous items that perfectly represent someone who once held a very important part of my life and still retains a non-romantic, yet deeply heart felt, portion of my memory. I rather suspect that this memory-experience is a common one among human beings everywhere. I encourage anyone with a similar story to share in the comments below.

Quotes:

“Threw sand in our eyes and descended like flies
and put us back on the train, yeah (ho-ah)
O-oh, (ho-ah) back on the chain gang

The powers that be
That force us to live like we do
Bring me to my knees
When I see what they’ve done to you

Well, I’ll die as I stand here today
Knowing that deep in my heart
They’ll fall to ruin one day
For making us part…”

Back On The Chain Gang by The Pretenders