Recently a few of my cousins stayed over at my place for a wedding. I've not seen them for 18 or 20 years and when I saw them last they were in Primary school. I got to know them as we stayed together for a period of time. Now they've all grown up, ans have become a doctor, a corporate executive, traveled around the world, and gone and done so many marvelous and wonderful things. I am so proud of them. If you are reading this now - know this to be true: I am filled with *joy* that you have done so very well.
At the same time, personally, its also been a very overwhelming experience (for me). First off, its that visual disconcert. My only memories of them were as children - and now they stand before me as adults. Somewhere in my brain, like an accountant shifting through old records to prepare for this year's financial reporting, I'm trying to reconcile my old recollections of them.
Certain aspects of them have remarkably stayed the same. I remember how HL talked faster and faster like a choo-choo train. Her disposition - exuberant, a fiery locomotive. I remember how HF was prim, proper; her sentences concise, her manner quiet and reflective, and the way she spoke, balancing certain words, a ballerina in her dance.
But its been too long. So very long. I wished I had seen them as they were growing up. I wished I could have heard them talk (and complain), to hear their stories.
And that which should not be mentioned... which is "time", "age". I don't feel old. I somehow feel stronger, better, even healthier as the years roll by. (I should mention that my short term memory has always been horribly patchy even as a kid. I would forget a lot of things and get horribly punished. ...
Sometimes, I think I forgot to grow old.) And a lot of people have commented/think that I am much younger than my actual age.
I'm not sure why, perhaps its the shock of seeing my child cousins again, now as adults, a visual disconcert. Whatever. But its like the last 20 years have hit me like a flood water. And, oh no, I look in the mirror and suddenly I see strains of white hair, like the creeping cracks on ice. @#$!!! Suddenly I feel every bit of my 42 years.
I gaze at my cousins again, and hurriedly shuffle away the old records of them as children, replacing them with the new ones. An argument brews in my brain between two angry librarians. Right side: "They are NOT 10 years old", Left side: "But they seem the "same" (sound similar, look similar etc...)".
Side note: I like looking at stars. They don't change (well not in a human's time scale). They exude that sense of majestic permanence. But yes, I know things change. Even the stars that I see will eventually (after millions of years) burn out (or have already burnt out).
I hear a clock that is ticking. Ticking very loudly now, like a drum beat.