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  • Thomas Wolfe said, "You Can't Go Home Again." You can't argue with him, especially if you have tried. Home may have been a painful place, a place unsafe from the demons that chased you at night, tortured you and left you longing for safety. It might have been a pleasant place, smelling of cinnamon buns or Sunday meatballs and eggplant, but you can't go back to the exact same place expecting the exact same thing.

    You might experience a cognitive dissonance, a blip, a curve in your straight-line reality, and then again, you might experience a pleasant surprise. You might walk into a shop filled with trendy bits and pieces of color and fabric, wax candles and verbena lotions, and you might know the woman behind the counter because you went to high school together and you are shocked at how the-same you look. You exchange pleasantries about a few mutual friends.

    You might be in there with your grown daughter who is taking you to dinner at a wonderful outdoor cafe in the space that used to house a hardware store with its wooden boxes filled with trowels and gloves and nails and bits of brass. You might buy a postcard of the old Roslindale with plans to frame it for your office to remind you of your roots.

    The loudest clang in your psyche might be that you are looking at a mature woman that you never could have imagined when you were raising her up; this woman-girl-child-wife-mother-runner-knitter-Italian teacher is living in the very same house, raising her two boys where you raised her.

    You can't go home again, because you are not the same person either. You can go home and bring your new self to your old space and make an introduction. You can say, "Here I am!" You are the new and stronger you, the older and wiser and maybe the happier you that can take a deep breath and see time warping in and out of this moment because it is in this moment, this exact moment when you take the photo that you exist in reality. The rest of it is all in your imagination, your memory and you are not at its mercy.
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