by William Jackson on 2006-02-03
It is incredible that a feature or an expression on a passer-byʼs facecan unlock a flood of memory and feeling.
When I catch a glimpse, a shadow of someone I recognize, I slow down orstop. I look at their eyes, anticipating, hoping they will look my way.Ninety-nine times out of one hundred our eyes never meet. And when theydo, ninety-nine times out of one hundred the image of a former friendhas already fled from that strangerʼs face. Then there follows a feelingof disappointment, a feeling that I have been betrayed by a trick of thelight, but the tender memories and reflections evoked often make thatdisappointment worth it.
But there arises an amazing feeling when I encounter one to whom I havenot spoken for years, yet whose name I recall just as clearly as if Ihad called it out every day of my life.
Just as clearly as I called it out from the top of the steps of theFlawn Academic Center earlier today.
A beaming smile, a sweet embrace,
“I canʼt believe it, how are you?We have some catching up to do.”
This was no simple strangerʼs face.