Friday, March 03, 2006

Raw reunion

By its nature, a reunion causes people to look back. That's a large part of the reason people have reunions. It's a time to reflect on the past; go over the "good times."

Sometimes the past has some raw edges. Those good times aren't universal. There were bad times, too. There are times you'd like to forget. Events that you're not proud of or even events best left where they are in the past.

I've got more than one raw edge in the old memory bank. The person I was in the past did some mean, stupid things. No finger pointing here. My folks were great and my "upbringing" was filled with love. There were many good times, many good times.

But those raw edges are there, too. So when I got together with my brother and two sisters for a little family reunion recently, a few of those raw edges had to get hauled out. They always do.

My sisters and brother are older than me by a lot. The three of them share some memories that don't include me. It also gives them the benefit of having watched me come along from a very different perspective than I have. They can say things about those raw spots from a place I'd like to not think about.

Nothing mean in their retrospection, just that oddly outside observation and intrusion people have when they think back on an incident involving someone else. It just brings that raw edge up and exposes the nerves.

I always find myself responding abruptly trying to redirect. Who the hell wants to drag those things up now? Well, it's a reunion. And my activities back then did have an affect on people, especially those people who love me. One way or the other.

Still, I wonder if I'm keeping demons buried I should deal with or if in fact my life is pretty well adjusted and those memories are best in their faded and near-forgotten place? Mean and/or stupid things we're talking about. They didn't make any sense then and they're just as indefensible today.

There's also my enduring interest in what may happen tomorrow. Some people love to reminisce. Me, I'm looking forward to the next thing, always have. Maybe that makes for more raw edges in the past, I don't know.

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