I went this last weekend to stay with a friend I have known since I was 16. Our mothers, too, were friends. Much about her new home overlooking the sea I was seeing for the first time, especially the idyllic flower garden she has created, but many of the unusual pictures and pieces of furniture were familiar. I had not seen them for many years, and they took me back not only to the Norwegian log cabin in which her mother had lived in Cheshire but to my own late teenage years, so that I was seeing my former self, and the origins of this old friendship, in a new context.
That interface of past and present, both unsettling and full of fondness, takes me back to a Writer’s Choice I contributed earlier this year to the wonderful weblog of Norman Geras which was about Joan Didion’s first memoir, Where I Was From. You can read it here.