If the past is a piece of woven cloth, as time passes, we are able to loosen the weave, slowly. Eventually, there is enough space between the threads to weave in new ones. The original threads are still there; they will always be there. But they are no longer the only things there. They mix, over and under, with the new threads, creating beautiful and unknowable patterns that never could have existed with either just the new or just the old. Sometimes, it is very hard to figure out how to weave in the new threads. We may get frustrated and want to rip out entire pieces of the old cloth, but that would just create a gaping wound, much harder to weave together successfully, and have the potential of always being the place where the fabric is weakest. Better to go slow; to pick new threads that can integrate well with the old and not clash with them, to only weave them in when there is enough space for them, and when you are willing and able to be patient and understand the value of what is already there, while you deftly and beautifully weave their new contributions into it.

Warning: Coarse language. Reader discretion advised.

I didn’t start feeling angry. I started wanting to break some new ground in my couple-times-a-week habit of taking walks around lunch time. I’d started using Daily Mile to track my distance and time and, not being a runner, the distance and “pace” it calculated after I’d painstakingly mapped my route and input the time were always more than a little underwhelming. Of course, walking 3 or 4 miles in 45 minutes or an hour is not shabby, but still. Unlike my default, today I felt driven. Ambitious. Like there was a chip on my shoulder, somehow.

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When you live in one place long enough, the memories start to pile up on top of the geography. In the course of everyday life, you end up bumping into them. Sometimes they make you stop.

Walking back to work from getting salad rolls I came across a very familiar place. It’s a few blocks from where I’ve worked for the past year and a half, and it’s on the streetcar line, so I go by this corner almost every week day. But whenever I do, even if only for a second, I can’t help but be transported back to an October evening in 1988. My first “date” with Julie.