Monday, January 20, 2014

Life Lines

© Nance Thacker 1984
click on image to enlarge
The weekend has found me in a reflective mode. In my ongoing quest to de-clutter and simplify my life I've been going through my "stuff". Actually, not really my stuff, rather memories of the lives of others recorded in letters from family and friends that I'd received during my early years in Victoria.

I've carried boxes, filled with these letters from the '70's and 80's back and forth across the country and I think it's time to let them go, but not before reading them once more.

My sister-in-law, Di, and I were talking via g-mail phone the other day, marvelling at how technology keeps us connected in so many ways. Today there's: g-mail phone, i-phone favourites that allow fee free calling, Face Book, Skype, Face Time, texting, What's App, Tweeting, e-mailing and I'm sure there's a whack of stuff out there I've never even heard of. Communication is immediate and, for the most part, glitch free.

I don't buy that technology is isolating us. Face Book is where the Dream Team (my peers from dream teacher training I and II living all over the world) meet, share our dreams, inspire and further each other's education in dreams. Technology is my life line to friends and family living afar.

Back then though "snail" mail was pretty much all that we had that was affordable. Daily, I'd look for word from "home". Every letter received was like a big hug.

While I was out here living the life of a struggling artist/yogi, my friends' lives were moving through major transitions: marriages, home ownership, "real" jobs and careers, births, raising children, illness, deaths, and all the financial and family responsibility that goes with the territory. Others were studying and or travelling abroad: hiking, bike trekking and living with "friends" they'd made along the way - to be honest, I envied them the most.

Though our lives were so different, family and friends were supportive of my aspirations; often asking how the cartooning was doing. My younger sister, in letters from the mid '80's told of meeting 2 women in the Maritimes who knew of, and followed, my work in Monday Magazine - that thrilled me!

It got me looking through my cartoons and this one popped out as it pretty much summarized my life experiences at that time. No, I didn't have a meat cleaver thrown at me, but the crazed cook (and inspiration for the "chef" in the cartoon - he made Gordon Ramsay look like a pussy cat) at the Fat Cat Café a 24hr diner on lower Yates Street did threaten me with a knife while I was on duty once. Yup, life was different back then.

Anyway, that's another story…

What will I do with the letters? I'm mailing them back to the authors with a letter of appreciation and thanks for all their love and support over the years. They have no real idea how wonderful it felt for me, living on my own in my own world, to receive these life lines from home. But they are filled with their memories so, maybe when they read what their younger selves recorded they can reflect and appreciate their life's journey too.

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