I recently attended a concert that brought me face to face with the past. There were people in the audience that I had once called friends, in my former life.
This spring I’ve been forced to enter the old establishments where I was once a contributing member. I usually avoid the places because many people had been quick to judge and even quicker to take sides following my divorce.
But this concert was on my turf, and one of the performers was my husband. One person in attendance had been a close friend and spiritual advisor. I warmly welcomed her afterwards, and we spoke for a few seconds before she turned to my son.
Some time later it dawned on me; she had effectively shunned me, in perfect Jane Austin style. She was never rude, but she deflected any questions I had, and re-directed her attention to my son. When I tried to engage her in conversation she apologized that she had to greet another colleague who was walking across the room.
There was no scene, but the message was clear- the bonds of friendship are broken.
My life has been divided in two. There is an abyss that runs through it. When the past rises up, the chasm opens up to remind me of my old life. My husband and I occasionally run into people who once populated our social circles; people who knew us when we were coupled to someone else.
At the concert, the woman’s behavior had lost its power. I smiled and turned to my new friends and greeted them warmly, firmly turning my back on the past.