Looking Back

Still on the subject of my blogcation; first there were the  Preparations  and, then……..

My guest arrives….

We look back.

From 2014 to 1966

From 2014 to 1966

Mr Carter's classes

Mr Carter’s classes

The Two of  Us at Malolo Street 1966

The Two of Us at Malolo Street 1966

Mr Hodge's Sunday School Class 1964

Mr Hodge’s Sunday School Class 1964.  St Peter’s Anglican Church ,Father Butler’s residence, Drasa Avenue.

The Beginning

The Beginning : ‘When I was Three I was hardly me. When I was Four, I was not much more.’  A A Milne

Update: It has been a difficult week. It is tempting to look back to the past and think all was perfect. It was not. As a child I was dumbfounded, and unbelieving, when I realised that, at the age of five, I would be going to  Lautoka European School and my best friend would not. Fortunately, those policies were changed within the next few years as Fiji headed towards Independence, and my friend and I were able to spend a short time together at the renamed school. It became Drasa Avenue School.

The events of my current week, and  those contained in my post, seem to relate well to this quote

“Give us grace and strength to forbear and to persevere. Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind, spare to us our friends, soften to us our enemies.” 

This is the prayer inscribed on the bronze memorial to Robert Louis Stevenson in   St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh, Scotland. Robert Louis Stevenson was, amongst many other things, a witness to the colonial history of the Pacific Islands. Clanmother writes (and recites) about Robert Louis Stevenson’s connection to  the Pacific  here.

© silkannthreades

 

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87 thoughts on “Looking Back

  1. Pingback: The gifts of a lifetime | silkannthreades

  2. Brenda

    Friendship is so much deeper between children, without responsibilities to interfere. Your sweet faces are so pure and shining. You are very lucky your friend came back to you, even if only for a few days!! 🙂 Brenda

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Indeed; we had concerns, but we were mostly free to get on with the business of play and being friends. And I wish it were like that for all children.

      Reply
      1. Brenda

        At that age, you don’t have to worry about grades or religion or finances. You just play with imagination, which is free to everyone!

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Exactly! Although I did have a mean teacher who smacked the back of my legs because I didn’t know the word ‘bark’. 😦

  3. Marylin Warner

    Thank you for this wonderful, powerful and touching post. The pictures are a delight, but the needs for change behind them make them even more significant. The Stevenson prayer and music gave me much to consider and appreciate. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Glad you enjoyed my post. I was happy to spend a bit more time with Robert Louis Stevenson, too. I didn’t know about his music until I was researching for this post.

      Reply
  4. Virginia Duran

    I can’t help but feel nostalgic too. The photos are wonderful, and you seemed such a cheerful girl. I’m happy that some things have evolved, and as the quote says let’s stay strong to continue changing the bad things. Thanks for sharing your story 🙂

    Reply
  5. Britt Skrabanek

    That first photograph and the story behind your connection is very beautiful. It’s so rare that people can keep those relationships over the years. One of my favorite things about moving to Portland has been reconnecting with one of my best friends from high school. We’ve stayed in touch over the years and visited one another, but it’s so awesome to live in the same neighborhood now. Hope to have a photo like yours one day. : )

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I, too, hope you have a photo like that one day. I remain close to some of my high school friends even though we live many miles apart. We are bonded by shared memories.

      Reply
  6. Steve Schwartzman

    I like the way you posed yourselves and your caption “From 2014 to 1966”. It reverses the normal way we imagine things as progressing from the past to the present and future.

    In a parallel to your post, we just got back from a visit with friends we hadn’t seen in 16 years. I first met them in the early 1970s, when one was a student of mine and the other became her husband a couple of years later.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It is wonderful to catch up with old friends, isn’t it? I am still in touch with one of my teachers. She was my teacher when I was seven. We see each other or talk to each other at least once a week. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Clanmother

    Oh, my dear friend, in our existence, we live our lives forward, which gives us only memories of what has come before. These memories intermingle with our lives in profound and complex ways. When we remember, we slip back into the emotions of that specific moment. Only those who were there with us can understand. And with children, there seems to be a greater clarity. How wonderful that you have this reunion. I do love the reference to our dear Robert Louis Stevenson!

    I think you will appreciate this quote by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez –

    “He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.” from Love in the Time of Cholera

    Reply
  8. shoreacres

    Robert Lewis Stevenson was a great part of my childhood, too. Wonderful verses for children, and wonderful even now.

    The very thought that I might be in touch with someone born on Fiji would have seemed almost laughable to me during my own formative years. How things have changed! And yet, the human connections remain the most important — how wonderful it is to have this record of you and your friend renewing those connections.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Interesting….I don’t know how much I thought about America when I was a child. Probably quite a lot. My mother had quite a few books by American authors and of course I read Little Women etc, Pollyanna, Katy Did, The Singing Tree. Then there were the American movies. Did I ever think I would visit America? Probably not. But I am very glad I did.

      Reply
  9. womanseyeview

    What a fascinating story from your childhood and so amazing that you were able to reconnect all these years later – very special. Real life is so many moments of joy and sorrow – I hope your sorrow passes soon or at least eases. Hugs xxx

    Reply
  10. Sheryl

    It’s wonderful that you’ve been able to maintain your friendship across the years. The pictures are wonderful. I especially like the one of the two of you looking at an old photo.

    Reply
      1. Mélanie

        mine, too… 🙂 just like you, I’ve had the same good “old” friends for decades… our middle names may be constancy, loyalty, dedication… 🙂 my very best and a merry Easter weekend, Miss G! heartfelt thoughts… ❤

        Reply
  11. Tiny

    I’m sorry your week has been on the difficult side. Life does that to us from time to time. It was lovely you could see your friend from far back. Lovely photos, all of them!

    Reply
  12. BEAUTYCALYPSE

    it’s such a treasure to have friends from your childhood!
    I bet the visit was fabulous. you and your garden, and books, and remembering things and discussing.

    my oldest “friend” is really not a very good one, merely a living memory that’s fun to chat with once a year; but I know my best friends since…. I think the age of 7 and respectively 13. it’s funny how we didn’t really change much on the surface but subtly, there has been a lot of growth. I’m happy that this growth didn’t mean alienation though. skype and facetime are our secret weapon 🙂

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I love those secret weapons of modern technology, too. My good friends weave in and out of my daily life. Sometimes communication is often and, sometimes, not. But I don’t think that matters so much, as long as when you are in touch you can relate to each other and understand, and be interested in, each other’s interests.

      Reply
      1. BEAUTYCALYPSE

        oh absolutely. some of my best friendships were “on hold” for a decade, with people who I’d have met twice in my life… 🙂 it’s about the connection.
        sometimes – well, rarely, but it happens – I even spot it in complete strangers like in “hey, we’d be friends *if*”. it even hurts a bit to pass them by, I’d say. not to sound like a lonely weirdo here though… but I think you know what I mean.

        Reply
        1. BEAUTYCALYPSE

          I just only saw the post today.
          Gobsmacked 😦
          I totally understand Sophia’s reasons, but it leaves an uneasy feeling, doesn’t it?

        2. Gallivanta Post author

          More a big hole! Who are those silly people who say internet relationships are trivial? That the internet disconnects us from community and relationships!

        3. BEAUTYCALYPSE

          well, you said it: silly people.
          actually, I only ever heard such crap from folks who don’t really care for people IRL either. you either connect, or you don’t; the medium is not relevant.

          actually, yes, a hole 😦 I didn’t want to strengthen my sad feelings by speaking it out loud.

  13. KerryCan

    Lovely! Wonderful! I’m so happy for you both that you had the time together to celebrate your friendship! Hearing you say you’re having a difficult week makes me worry, though–I hope you’re managing okay.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It was wonderful. Thanks for worrying… 🙂 I have had a painful hip (don’t know why) so movement has been slow. Much improved now. And the other difficulties relate to my daughter who has difficult mental health issues and lives far across the sea, in Australia. 😦 Phone bills are looking scary. 😀

      Reply
      1. KerryCan

        The mental health issues are so rough–so hard to know how to help! She’s lucky to have your support, even if it is a phone call away. Glad your hip is healing–take it easy!

        Reply
        1. Gallivanta Post author

          Sunshine today after weeks of rain, so my hip is feeling good. I try to support mental health/neurological research with a small regular donation. Maybe one day the research will bear fruit. 🙂 Ditto with Alzheimers/dementia issues.

  14. Letizia

    So wonderful to have such a long lasting friendship. The photos are beautiful, and, I agree with the others, so artistic, especially the first one. People say we are the people we will grow up to be at the age of 7-9 so perhaps you were destined to be life long friends. How terrible, though, to have been separated into different schools. I’m glad times have changed.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I guess we probably don’t change a lot from our 7 year old selves. Do you remember the Up series from the BBC, following a group of children from the age of Seven? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Up_Series The series is apparently based on a Jesuit motto “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man”, which is based on a quotation by Francis Xavier.

      Reply
      1. Letizia

        I love the Up series and always look forward to a new installment. Although I would hate to be a participant and have my life documented for the whole world to see every 7 years…

        Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It was funny though that we both had trouble remembering some of the others in the photos. If we could remember all the names we would be able to organise a reunion!

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      I certainly was. I loved the music. I also loved this music which I found whilst searching for that piece by Robert Louis Stevenson. This school group is singing a Samoan medley but it reminds me very much of similar music from Fiji. Gives me chills and goosebumps of delight

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      There were many things to rewind and to untangle as well; things and people only half remembered. It was a good workout for our memories. 🙂

      Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      Thank you Mrs P. And, one of the best parts of that photo, is that I managed to persuade my son to take it. He takes a good photo when he has a mind to!

      Reply
  15. Juliet

    Your story about your friend is both sad and uplifting. Sad to have that cruel severance, but so wonderful to have kept in touch and to have had her visit.

    Reply
    1. Gallivanta Post author

      It was a wonderful visit. That very early severance was very temporary. We still had after school and Sunday School connections. So plenty of time to play.

      Reply

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