A sentence in the book caught my heart, as one or another is apt to do when I read her. She was describing a son/brother who had become estranged from his family; how his absence left a hole in their lives that wouldn't fill in, and how they sometimes thought they saw him or heard him as they were going about their day but it was always someone else.
"...you know how it is when you're missing a loved one. You try to turn every stranger into the person you were hoping for."
Beautiful and startling, like a lightning strike. I love her writing.
It reminded me of a song I loved back in the nineties, "On a Bus to St. Cloud." Written by Gretchen Peters and sung by Trisha Yearwood, it's a work of art. I don't listen to much country music anymore but this song will always be a favorite of mine.
On a bus to St. Cloud, Minnesota
I thought I saw you there
With the snow falling down around you
Like a silent prayer
And once on a street in New York City
With the jazz and the sin in the air
And once on a cold L.A. freeway
And it's strange, but it's true
I was sure it was you
Just a face in the crowd
On a bus to St. Cloud
Recently (and coincidentally), I found myself thinking that I would hardly recognize some of the people from my past if I came across them on the street today. My chances would certainly be much less through a bus window. Sometimes, I'll see pictures of people from my old life and from my childhood and I'll study them. Our faces have changed, our clothes, our bodies, our hairstyles. I'll look closely at the pictures on Facebook and think, oh I can see it, the resemblance, the glimmer of the person I once knew buried under the face of another. They are the same person, yet they are not; not to me, because the person in my memory is frozen in time and place and meaning. As it should be.
And you chase me like a shadow
And you haunt me like a ghost
And I hate you some, and I love you some
But I miss you most...
- Rutgers University (Cook College/School of Environmental and Biological Sciences)Microbiology
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