27 October, 2011

{this memory} 23

First, I need to say this is not my photograph. It was taken by Joe Covello who is no longer living, and the copyright was held in 1969 by Studio One - who seems to be in business no longer. I gave up trying to find out where to seek permission to use it.

I bought a copy of the image in 1971 while I was a doctoral student at the University of Maine at Orono. I still have it and can see it as I type just by turning my head to the right. It is obviously special to me.

This image has always been an inspiration to me, and I cannot look at it without beginning to slow my pace. I try not to wonder what the old man was thinking, but that he is clearly doing so is a muse for my own reflection on life. He and I have had many conversations, although rarely aloud. If he spoke aloud to me, well ... those would be hallucinations. I have spoken aloud to him, of course, but I must note that we have never quarreled - although there have been some unnecessarily loud sighs on occasion.

Today I think mostly about all I have experienced in the 40 years since I first met the old man. I resist making time for the memories of the bad because that would be a waste of precious moments, but I do think of all of the good I have seen and experienced. There is truly no shortage of that. I am a fortunate man.