Friday, November 19, 2010

My Tribe

I have an old friend who apparently saves a lot of stuff, and the right stuff too, because he scanned a couple of contact sheets from 1983 and put them on Facebook the other day. He's a friend of the family, he and my brother have been friends since second grade, and I've been friends with his sister forever as well. I was over at their mom's house a few Christmases ago and he said, "Wait here", while he went down into her basement and got (he's an artist) a painting he did of me around the same time. I now have several "Jimmys" and think it's cool to own original art. I'll post pictures of them one of these days.

The above picture is of his sister, our friend Jordan, and myself at Edgewater park in downtown Cleveland. For the life of me, I only vaguely remember this trip, but there I am. Without sunglasses, because you didn't need them in Ohio as much as you do in Colorado. Anyway, there's a couple of things that this picture made me think about.

I got more than a little nostalgic for those times. For the last couple of years of high school and the first year of college, I was part of a tribe. A group of people with whom it was just assumed I would get together with on the weekends, and we'd do all sorts of stuff. Artsy stuff, outside stuff, city stuff. It made me yearn hard for those days when I was part of something like that. Nowadays, I guess you could say my tribe is scattered. I count myself lucky to have several close friends and a wonderful family that I love dearly. But it's not quite the same, where the tribe was more than the sum of its parts, local, and active. It makes me want to cultivate a new tribe, or at least expand my local circle of interesting friends, beyond the few close friends I've made/kept after my divorce.

The other thing that struck me about this picture was that I wasn't fat. Our view of ourselves is so subjective. My recollection was that I was chunkier at that time. Now, I look at myself in the picture and see that I could have toned and tightened up, but that I wasn't as heavy as I thought I was. After all this time, my thought was something like, "I'm OK, why have I spent so much time worrying about how fat I feel?" I don't worry so much anymore, I think it's an effect of being in my mid-40's and FINALLY just accepting this particular balance between eating and activity.

Musing about this picture comes at a good time. I'm leaving for MN in a few days to spend time with some of my favorite people, and that always recharges my emotional batteries so I feel like I can take on anything. I feel blessed.


  1. I think I'm going to blog something about this picture, too. It makes me think of those grainy 50's pictures, where everything seems so ... perfect. Funny, but I don't remember this at all. I've been examining it to see if maybe it wasn't me there (like maybe it was Sue or Deb or Tish instead), but I did have a suit like that and sunglasses like that and cheekbones like that...

  2. Love that picture. Love tribes. . .I've had a few in my lifetime that are now scattered, and I miss them sometimes :)

  3. Jordan - It's totally you. I don't really remember it either but it appears we were both there :-)

    Claire - you're making a new tribe, with your family and the people you feed!


Hi, sorry to make the humans do an extra step.