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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Burning Bridges

When he left the job that I mentioned in my post yesterday, Rook was so irked by the difficulties and indifference that he had to deal with in his International Falls situation that he didn't give his supervisor the customary two-weeks notice when he found a new job. That could be called burning a bridge behind him, couldn't it?

Like most people who get to hang around on the planet for a while, I've left numerous bridges behind me, employment and otherwise, but because I was fortunate in that none of these departures took place in moments of pique, none of those bridges were left afire.
But I have to confess that I have also never had any occasion to cross back over any of them. So does this mean that burning a bridge behind one's self doesn't really rate as being a concern?

I assume I'm only able to say this because midway in my life's journey, I left my hometown and moved 170 miles southwest in Virginia, and I have gone back to D.C. only on two or three of the most dire, life and death occasions. Therefore, except for a few people, I have no knowledge of what has become of all the throngs that I grew up among and was educated among and worked and played with through my first 45 years or so. It's as if my past has been chopped cleanly in half with one stroke of a samurai sword , so that everyone that I encounter now, in person, has seen me around or heard anything of me only since 1976, when we bought this property, and not since 1931, when I was born.

That is a very curious situation to be in, and it's one that I don't know whether or not I should be happy to accept, but there it is.

That the pain that I might feel there is actually unjustified is suggested by remembering that just a few years after I had been out of high school and then college, both in D.C., I was surprised to notice that in the course of day-to-day life I would almost never see any of my acquaintances from a previous but recent phase. I didn't see how that was possible. The rainbow (sloppily called "black") sections of D.C.in NW and NE didn't strike me as being that big, and in those days I got out into the world much, much more than I do now..
The puzzlement of this is increased by the fact that now, when I go to either of the two supermarkets in the two nearest towns, 10 and 14 miles away, it is rare for me not to see at least one person that I know, and often more than one, yet I am still a relative newcomer here, and I also have a reputation as being something of a hermit.. Admittedly these towns are small, but the supermarkets are not much smaller than the ones nearest to me were in D.C., but in that big city that would almost never happen. I would rarely if ever see anyone in the stores that I knew, not even my next door neighbors. Nada. No one. Weird.


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