Sunday, May 18, 2008

Purple Violets

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Purple Violets: the idea of being the same, but not, and also a wonderful film by Ed Burns. The premise of the movie is 4 friends  find each other after twelve years and they find that they are mere shadows of the color they once were as in Purple and Violet.

It's what we become, each year or interaction adding or taking away from us - from what we want to be or are.  Molding us into something entirely new, but keeping within ourselves, within who we are.  We change and grow, but are never entirely different nor the same.

Every time I see a friend from my year abroad, I am astonished to see how we are like cookie cutouts ourselves.  We started one way, but after baking came out entirely different.  The 5 years that have left us shadows of our young selves, but now older, open in a different way, but still open. 

I saw one of my closest friends from when I lived in France  this weekend and it was good.  She was the girl who would swim in public fountains with me and leap to a day at the cinema, seeing movie after movie and eating popcorn after popcorn.  You share a lot when you are young and alone.

It felt good to hang out this weekend.  I was totally comfortable, sitting, being and listening.  We biked in the rain for 12 km and it was glorious.  We remarked how we are too old to ride carnival rides without thinking of falling.

Everytime I meet one of my exchange friends, we talk about our year.  We talk about looking back at how terrifying it was.  How it's like living with an ulcer for a year - terrified that you are going to make a mistake and make someone unhappy or that for one mistake they will send you home.  How how much our parents must have trusted us and believed in us to let us go and live in the homes of total strangers.  How independant we became and how dependant we became on each other. That year was defined by so many good things, like the friendship we share and the inherent openness we share, because we know that it's hard to make friends and be alone.   We are now all scattered across the world, and we are; we are so many things.  We are going to be so many things, and connect with so many people, but still we share something, something that is ever the elephant in corner of my mind.

It took special people to decide at that young of age to go abroad alone.  I'm glad they are still in my life.


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