Sunday, November 22, 2009

Moving on

All things must change to something new, to something strange.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Last night, for the first time in a good long while, the Soton geeksquad were all back together. And although it was a staggeringly good party, I felt something this morning which cast it in a slightly more melancholy light.

While the hangover wore off by midday, something of that feeling remained. Seeing everybody together, laughing and enjoying themselves like we did at the best of times, only reminded me how rarely I see them all now. University was another time, another life, a common bond which drew us all together. But when it was over, one by one, they all drifted away. Back to the places where they came from, or to distant jobs, or to new relationships.

And now my friends, my good friends, are scattered around the country. Around the world, even - my oldest friend, whose best man I'll soonly be, lives in Switzerland with his fiancee, and has made a life for himself there. Time passes and distances stretch, and we accumulate the scars of growing old - the houses and children and responsibilities which come of adulthood. And against the bright colours and high contrast of new things, the past is a sepia-tinted picture in an unfashionable frame, fading into obscurity. It takes effort to remember, to keep the picture bright, and no matter the good intentions some things always get forgot.

So here am I, about to take a new job in a new town, and I wonder how many of the friends I've made at work will remain a part of my life. I'll meet new people, make new friends, and see them every day. Will we meet up on occasion, those old friends and I, and remember why we cared? Or will they fade, like all things must, into the shadows of memory?

5 comments:

Ian said...

They'd better bloody well not fade, otherwise I'll be having *words* with them.

Ali Irish said...

I used to refer to that melancholy as 'the fear of being the only one left tending to the garden'.

I'm glad that thus far my relationships with the university lot have changed very little, even though we could do with meeting up more often. I'm glad that we each take the time to tend to the garden while others are away. :)

Jim said...

Even if the distances stretch there are new friends to be made through old friends. I regard you as such a friend, as my friend, and I'm thankful to have met you through Jim, who has made a new life.

This is cheesy but oh well, we can't always be funny, sometimes we have to be honest.

Olivia

Mystery Cat said...

It all helps. The more we talk, the harder it is for people to fade into the past.

Mark said...

Talk ... and game?

*Should really be writing something in the direction of Nobilis*