Have We Met Somewhere Before?
My wife captured this moment while we were at the Jungle Market outside of the village of Colonia near Puerto Morelos. I was with another man, listening to him as he told another of his stories. We all have stories of the past to tell. Strange how most of these stories take on a golden glow as though the past was a magical wonderland.
Since I am still busy writing the story of my past, the story that tells the story as I remember and feel it without attempts to hide from the smells, the textures, the shadows, the moments of sunshine; I am seeing this story neither as a dark stain, nor through rose-colored glasses. I know that the past is gone. A quick glance at any calendar tells me that decades have passed by just like the water in a river is constantly replaced by different water. Yet, the river remains, for the most part looking like the same river – for the most part.
In some ways, each of us looks a bit the same as we did in the past. Though every cell in our body has been replaced over and over again over the decades, others still recognise us, But, what is it that is recognised? Just the body? Or, is there something else, some unnameable thing that is more constant than our bodies? Physically, I have changed. After all, I am getting older, I am eating differently, I am exercising differently and I live differently with more months spent in a warmer sub-tropical climate. When I see a photo of myself take thirty years ago and compare it to a recent photo such as this one taken by my wife, there is a world of difference. Yet, it happens that we meet people from our past of twenty and thirty years ago and there is instant recognition with both sides commenting on how we still look the same.
This ability to recognise another person though the passage of years does its work to change the body, is a mystery. But even more of a mystery is to come in contact with a complete stranger who has never been in the same places at the same time as oneself and then have both become startled with the fact of recognising each other. The eyes tell us a truth that we can’t explain. And it is up to us to dare bridging the remaining distance. I am not talking about this stranger looking like someone we have known. I can’t even say that it is in the person’s physical appearance. I get the sense that each of us has an essence, an aura that is like a fingerprint which allows us to recognise.
What do you think? What are your experiences?