Friday, April 08, 2005

Well Dressed Sentimentality

old man with dog When I lived in Chicago, every morning I would walk to the train. On this walk, I would pass a little old man walking two ancient, snow white cocker spaniels. The little old man would smile and touch the brim of his mustard colored, tweed flat cap and smile each day. I would respond with a grin and a nod. He carried with him only the leashes, and a "clean up tool". The dogs weren't walking him, and he wasn't walking them...they sort of strolled the tree lined streets of my neighborhood. Their obviously arthritic legs kept all three of them in check, no one of them trying to lead the rest.

One morning, on that walk to the train, the little old man wasn't looking ahead, and he carried only one leash. The white spaniel seemed eager to find its mate, perhaps right around the next corner. He didn't tip his cap to me that morning, despite my gaze in his direction, that probably lasted too long. I walked to the train with tears in my eyes. One of the most beautiful things I'd ever known was now forever changed. As the weeks passed, he began to look up again and touch his cap to me. I noticed that he was walking with a cane, and if was possible, they were walking even slower. The gesture still meant as much to me, but it wasn't the same anymore.

I smiled back, but instead of smiling the rest of the way to the train, I pursed my lips in a thin line and went on.

I do not deal well with change. I have always been the constant for everyone. Matthew will know who moved in next door, Matthew will know how to say that in French, Matthew will know when I can plant this, Matthew will know how long to bake this, Matthew will know how to quote that in MLA style, Matthew will know who to call, Matthew will know the answer....

Matthew doesn't even know what's next. Matthew still wants to see the little old man walking his two knot kneed dogs on the beautifully tree lined streets, filled with 3 story brick single family homes. This time Matthew wants to know the answer. I thought my MLIS was a one way ticket to success, but found it was a bit of a double edged sword. With progress, comes change. *sigh* I will not feel safe until I am sitting behind my well appointed desk, in my office where I hang the umbrella I carry even if it's not raining, and answering questions that substantiate what I've accomplished. I like consistancy peppered with the unexpected, not the other way around.

I will be succesful no matter where I am, I will be well published and received just as well, I will add a face to the profession, that doesn't result in an action figure dressed in plum. The time it will take me to acheive this is anyones guess, but with this goal in my sites, I can't go astray.

Moral of this blog: I always try to not to remember rather than forget

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