Whenever I think about Penn, I imagine it to look like it did when I was there as a student. And every time I go back, I am always surprised to see how much it has changed. The place I imagine in my mind isn't in the world anymore. Change happened without me.
My friend, Jamie, and I took a stroll along Battery Park at lunch time this week and a woman stopped us. She looked a little lost. "When does this park end?" she asked us. "I haven't been in this neighborhood for 20 years and it looks completely different. This park wasn't even here then!"
When we leave a place, we have a tendency to fix it in our minds. Even though we change and grow, we expect places we've been and people we've known to stay the same. It's too much for us to imagine that life goes on without us.
Today I went to the funeral services for my Aunt Lorraine. She was a lovely lady that never forgot a birthday, an anniversary, or any other important occasion that involved her family members and friends. She lived a happy, long life, and I'm so glad that we had the opportunity to have her with us for so long.
On my drive home from the funeral, I kept looking at the clock, registering in my mind that all these minutes were unraveling, that I was traveling mile after mile, and my Aunt Rain wasn't here with us anymore. Time went on, and we'll all go on to make new memories even though she won't be with us. And she's going on without us, too.
I shed tears over the injustice of it all, of having to let go of people we love as a natural course of life. Change and time cannot be stopped. One day will fold into the next, whether or not we're around. What changes because of our existence and the interaction we have in specific places with specific people is the how. How will one day become the next for me because I had my Aunt Lorraine as a role model? How does she live on in all of us even if she can't be with us? And how do we want the world to go once our time has come and gone? This is really the only work that needs our attention.
The above images is from http://clock-desktop.com/screens/shiny_clock/palms-clock.jpg