Three Cards from Nashville

Rust Craft, circa 1950

Image via Wikipedia

Tennessee is one of the places I haven’t been yet. I hear nice things about it. Flights there are relatively inexpensive, at least once in a while, but I haven’t made it happen yet. I tell myself that one year I will make the long but reportedly-very-scenic drive, in the spring or fall, just to see it, just to say I did.

And perhaps I will, at that. But I haven’t been there yet, and I suppose that part of the reason is that I don’t have a reason to be there, no clear destination in mind to tell me I’ve arrived. And while “haven’t been there yet” is usually a perfectly acceptable reason for me, in this case I hold myself to a higher standard.

He is there.

Of course his presence there is irrelevant. I think well of him and would not be opposed to seeing him — but I would not seek him out, if for no other reason than he might misunderstand my purpose in it.  And there are thousands of other people there, so that it’s unlikely I would ever see him, even accidentally, just by going there.

I’m not sure that I wouldn’t be looking for him, though. I’m not sure I can say I’ve gone anywhere without looking for him on some level, within myself, like picking at an old wound to see if it still hurts underneath.

It’s not a wound, and it doesn’t hurt. I tend to look less and less; I stopped finding him a long time ago.

It’s more a habit than anything else now.

Even so, though I want to go there,  I’ve been afraid that the temptation to look — to actually physically look around me for him, wherever I happened to be — would be too great to resist.

And since I can never just give myself the benefit of the doubt, I assume that means something.

So I can’t go. Not until I know for sure.  How can I know for sure, I wonder?

Two of the kids from my church are temporarily located in Nashville. So I get mail from there every so often now. When the first letter arrived, I had a temporary befuddled feeling. A brief momentary confusion, but not of an emotional sort.  Why would I be getting a letter from Nashv – oh, that’s right. Of course

And so the holidays approach. The kids are preparing to come home, so I don’t particularly expect to get letters from them. But ’tis the season, and come the cards. One, two, three. The third is from him. Just the standard holiday card. A company card, at that. But I don’t read anything into it, positive or negative, as I hope he would not from me either. This is our connection now: holiday and birthday greetings. Nothing more is required.

Maybe I can go to Tennessee, after all.

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~ by lorakceel on December 13, 2010.

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