November 16, 2006
Well, if you told me you were drowning,
I would not lend a hand.
I’ve seen your face before my friend,
But I don’t know if you know who I am . . .
And I can feel it comin’ in the air tonight, Oh Lord . . .
— Phil Collins, b. 1951
English singer and lyricist
Last Friday I wrote about a friend’s distress over a classmate who has been holding a grudge against her for fifty years. How, she wondered, can someone stay angry for so long? This afternoon I talked to someone about the extremely positive nature of my memories of high school and college. Although I experienced disappointments and had my share of troubles, in general I remember those years with something of a golden glow. My friend today said that perhaps I’ve been able to let go of unproductive anger over things that happened then.
I am, of course, capable of holding a grudge. In fact, I’ve written about one that will have its fiftieth anniversary this spring. In 1957 my fourth grade teacher (called “Violet Stone” in the piece I wrote about her seven years ago), denied me the perfect attendance certificate I had earned by dint of showing up every single day to school even though I hated being in her class. I said then that I had lost the will to retaliate, but that I still bore the anger.
On Sunday I wrote about learning of a beloved friend’s death. He’d come to me in a dream, I said, about the time that he lay dying.
I mention this today because last night I dreamed about Mrs. Stone.
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