I flew over mountains on friday.
There was snow, just some, on the tops and in patterns that looked like leaf rubbings or fossils of ancient and universe-sized birch and elm leaves. It was quite beautiful and surprising - I never really expect to see anything I like in an airplane, even if it's out the window.
I was going to Barcelona to see a friend, a very good friend, who I met in Wilmington, North Carolina, forever ago, when I was an undergraduate. Wilmington is one of those places, like Seattle, that left its mark on me like the snow on that mountain. Not covering me - just a rubbing, a trace, an imprint that changed me in ways that I may not have noticed until years later, decades even, after a change in perspective. I met people there who are still with me today, like this friend in Barcelona. People whose part to play in my life, whose importance, I felt instictively and instantly. I arrived when I was sixteen, still a girl, but convinced I was a woman. And I left at 21, still not a woman, but closer, and convinced, certain as I could only be in that pre-new-me way, that if I didn't leave then, I never would.
And Seattle was calling. I had so much to do. A dark side to acknowledge, years of graduate work to complete, shadow sisters to meet - Tanya and Meg who still come to me occasionally in my dreams to tell me things I must hear but won't if it's in my own voice - truths I cannot hear from myself. And the other sisters I met there, Lorraine and Julie, women who are still part of my daily life, despite the distance.