Thursday, June 19, 2008


I’ve always heard it said, when considering your past, that “you can’t go back”. I’ve never really been totally sold on that concept, at least as it might apply in my own life. Now, to be sure, I would agree that things change from your past the moment you leave the past. People die, property is sold, relationships pass, almost immediately. My wife and I certainly have had our share of past lives, living as we have in various parts of the country. My wife has been the most affected by whatever we haven’t been able to go back to. She puts roots down deep wherever she is planted, and when those roots get pulled up, so does a lot of other stuff, and things are never the same again. Still, I don’t think that it’s a universal principal. I don’t think that everything gets changed by time. Sometimes I think that the “you can’t go back” concept was created by people who wanted to run away in the first place. It was an excuse to not even attempt going back. It was the reason that they never made the effort to hold on to previous relationships.
I just came back from going back, if you can follow what I mean. I’m back from a 10 day trip back to my previous and one time original place of existence in upstate New York. I’m back from going back. It’s kind of fitting as I’m back on the beach, but looking out the window with our own Statue of Liberty in the foreground and the Space Needle in the background. I’m still processing the trip, still contemplating the “can’t go back” theory. Things have changed to be sure. People have died, property has been sold, relationships have passed. But on the other hand, some things don’t change all that much. They still don’t really know a good coffee experience. I went to the one stand alone Starbucks not associated with the mall or the university and it was a sorely disappointing experience. I don’t think those baristas could even spell Seattle, let alone know what it stands for. They do know doughnuts though. There was a Dunkin Donuts on every single corner of every single town. It might account for the unbelievable number of cops encountered along the way.
We did spend moments when we were able to really be “back”. There is still nothing like sitting on a giant front porch in Mallory watching the world go by. Boldt Castle is still majestically sitting on its Island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. Summer is still humid and the sweat still finds its way down my back and into my shorts. Finger Lakes wine is still as good as it gets and a chocolate soft-serve ice cream with chocolate sprinkles from a road side stand will always be a reason to brake. The Carrie and Derik that I married were still the Carrie and Derik that I first encountered as middle schoolers. Our best man, who we haven’t seen in 20 years, was still the same guy we grew up with. Certainly we are all more refined and experienced. There’s more gray and more stories as to how the gray got there, but the same spirit resides there.
This morning I’ve come back from going back. Some things have even changed here in this short time. There are 2 new baristas and a few changed seats in here. A new dog is waiting patiently for a new owner and my blueberry coffee cake is off the menu. I have my chair though and the coffee is better than I remember. All is right with the world at the moment; of course I haven’t been to the office yet. It’s good to be back.

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