Meeting New Old Friends

Seen in Manhattan

Even the lighting is better

I have been writing in the paper journal and re-reading things I’ve written before on line sparingly.  I have also rekindled Kiko’s story (I have a lot more to add, though I am no where near finished).  “My Belletristic Bottom” yesterday, a copy that I worked on in the late 90’s or early double aughts I think. It had some good points and refreshed some memories. I wrote more in my graph paper journal, but I want to remark here that there were some interesting turns of phrase and salient moments.  I also happened across the “Bike Messenger Mystery” which is too long to read on line or print at home. I saw promise there.  I need to revive that, but first I have to finish Kiko, just to finish something.

This morning I wrote a series of Haikus about the reunion dinner of a bunch of old friends from New Jersey (Linda, my wife among them). I think it sums up what I saw:

Dear Friends by proxy/
I learned I married my wife’s/
Pemberton High School/
# haiku

Dinner with old friends/
That I just recently met/
Was a time machine/

The teens that once were/
Bubbled through the surfaces/
At dinner last night/

Seeing these old friends/
Re-kindle their youthfulness/
Made me love her more/

The youthful spirit/
And “teen cynicism” made/
Wifey years younger/

Reuniting friends/
Rekindles youth’s best aspects/
On some perfect nights/

Thanks both Joe and Paul/
For arranging this dinner/
This fountain of youth/

I learned about some of the history of Fort Dix, adjacent to Pemberton.  It reminded me of the South End I grew up in, where mixed couples were not a rarity.  I also saw the best side of old friendships and the improvement of our country and culture over the decades since I was young by realizing all the changes that had come since they graduated from High School in the 80s.

Yesterday also included a visit with the McPhersons.  We met at Dos Toros on the East Side and then the kids (well, not Mason) and Hunter went galavanting about Manhattan, while I went back to the Museum with Sean and Naemi to look at Old Japanese Paintings.  Not my cup of tea, but looking at them taught me some things I liked about the stylized depiction of folded fabrics in these scrolls.  Also there was one scroll where some demon was serving samurais human flesh sushi and blood for tea or wine, pretty cool for Edo period drawings.

It makes me want to make an illuminated manuscript, which is what I do, sort of, with my photo-haikus. But I have been working on paintings and collages of late and I want to keep doing this because it packs a power that photography and photography collage just do not carry.

The kids, Chandler, Mason and Lennox, are good kids and remarkable people.  I am proud that I have been allowed to be their father and participate in their lives.  From Mason’s good natured insouciance (that often seems like disrespect) to Chandler’s driven obedience to the “smartest way” (she’s the opposite of me, who never finishes) the Teens are great.  Lennox, as the youngest, and seemingly most doted on, is sizing things up. I feel that she is watching Chandler and Mason and learning from their strengths and weaknesses.  Lennox is enjoying being a kid, while she’s angling for a powerful “teen-dom.”  She’s introspective and thoughtful, and just a bit more private than her extroverted mein would suggest.


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