Thursday, December 30, 2004

phantom lives

Hello Reader!

I must apologize, I feel I have been delinquent. My goal has been to blog something every day, and I have done half of that for the last week. The main reason for this is I have been busy with my annual homecoming to Detroit.

The main part of every visit historically consists of catching up with friends and family. I have to say this year has been spectacular, I got to spend the most time with the people I enjoy the most. It is so warming to see such awesome people happy and healthy, it makes the trip so worthwhile.

Then there are the ghosts. The people who used to be so influential in my life whom I have lost contact with. There are so many of them.

I took the time yesterday to drive through downtown. It reminded me so much of my life. There is currently so much new and sparkling development there. You can see the new baseball and football stadiums, and the developments that have been built because of that. Then kitty corner to them there are hallowed out boarded up broken down houses. These houses were once resplendent, indicative of a time when life was easy and booming. Now they are in such a state of disrepair that one cannot even fathom stepping inside.

The most haunting is the strip of Woodward closest to Jefferson Ave. The Hudson Store, the monolith that was torn down some years ago, used to reside there. When it was in its prime a load of stores had popped up along the same street, an avenue of capitalistic delights. This same strip is now mostly empty, abandoned, and lost. You can see the shadows of store names above the storefronts, paper and soap covering the windows. This goes on for a couple of blocks, and then BOOM, a brand new Borders or B&N building springs up from the ruins of the Hudson. Who will brave the ruins to go there?

This dichotomy of life reminds me of my lives lost past. In NYC I have a sparkling new life that encourages other new developments. But then there are those friendships that were once so close and nurturing, that since abandoned cannot be ventured on again.

There are also the friends who somewhere along the way I lost touch with, let the connections wither and die, whom I at some point was able to reconnect with and regenerate a whole new relationship. We have to brave the barren distance every time we speak to get to the beautiful new place we have built.

So much history, so much of life and time that does not stop, cannot be frozen. I am truly grateful for every person who has been in my life, without knowing them I would be ignorant of so many parts of human nature. All the fun and good times are imbedded in my very being.

I still have to wonder though, how much richer would Detroit or my life be if someone would have had the strength and insight to stop the negligence before it came to such extremes? Before the ties to the past were lost?

Next year maybe I'll have the courage to cross a few boarded doorways. Some of the beauty can possibly be salvaged.

No comments: