by Kirby Congdon…….
Does the reader of these words have a box of photographs he can’t get rid of? Aunt Mildred’s graduation, from whatever it was, can however be more than just a document. You can’t clean house and throw her out. It’s a part of your life, too. And what about your brother’s stamp collection that he took years to assemble? That is part of his life as well. As a friend reminded me, even a family full of human beings is a collection of references you didn’t put together yourself. Our lives are full of casual connections that have a deep meaning for ourselves because they help define us, as our own concern for others helps them feel relevant, too. Over time we all walk in the direction to where we want to go. Sometimes we run instead. This writer’s current task of archiving 70 years of literary work, as his body plods along, makes him think, while his mind races through decades, how to be in control. “Remember now,” he reminds himself, “to look both ways before you cross the street. The traffic is heavy. Be careful and don’t let go of that trapeze before you get to the other side.” The sense of gravity along with a sense of balance both help us get there but we know the safety net of caution that hangs beneath us can’t always be an imaginary one.