Posts tagged with "change" - Faerye Net 2010-08-03T13:58:59+00:00 Felicity Shoulders Home places 2010-08-03T13:58:59+00:00 2010-09-04T23:12:28+00:00 <center><a href="" title="Grants Pass sunrise by sylvandmike, on Flickr"><img src="" width="500" height="375" alt="Grants Pass sunrise" border="0" /></a><em>Grants Pass sunrise, taken by my cousin</em></center> <p>I recently spent the week with my grandmother, engaging in family traditions such as DeCourcey-rules Scrabble, Jeopardy! viewership, and politely refusing to put Grandma to the trouble of baking powder biscuits at breakfast, then politely eating upwards of three.</p> <p>We also discussed, in passing, the possibility that she will move soon. While we were discussing it, my mind was very much on the implications for her, and perhaps for the rest of my Scrabble-ating tribe. But some days afterward, I realized that once my grandmother leaves Grants Pass, <em>none</em> of my family will live there. I won&#8217;t have any cause to visit, and the sort of half-citizenship of that little burg in Southern Oregon that I have long enjoyed will quite dissolve.</p> <p>My family&#8212;the other side, as it happens&#8212;moved to Southern Oregon in the early 20th century. My Oklahoman great-great-grandfather came for a promotion with the railroad, and brought his family. My Canadian great-grandfather came for a lumber industry job, married the daughter of the aforementioned railroad man. They lived in the little town of <a href=",_Or" target="links">Glendale</a>, 28 miles away from Grants Pass through thick conifer forests. My maternal grandparents moved to Medford, then Grants Pass, after World War II, and Grandpa started a business. Most non-Native Westerners&#8217; family stories are stories of migration, and our stories brought us to Grants Pass, the nexus of my recent genealogy.</p> <p>Is that the only reason I love Grants Pass? That my parents met in the halls of the old Grants Pass High School (now demolished), drawn together by their identical paperback copies of <em><a href='' title='' rel='powells'>The Two Towers</a></em>? That my Grandpa is buried in a woodland cemetery outside of town, bright with dry grass and the sound of insects? That my family orbited around that valley for generations, and even now I feel it&#8217;s our home planet?</p> <p>I don&#8217;t know. I think we have a powerful drive to connect to places. For me, the Willamette Valley feels like home, with its <a href="" target="links">waterfalls</a>, <a href="" target="links">rain</a>, its <a href="" target="links">particular shades of green</a>. But most of us&#8212;I know I speak for myself and <a href='' title='' rel='powells'>Taran of Caer Dallben</a>, at least&#8212;have a desire to know where we came from. It manifests in genealogical research, in recording family reminiscences, in sequencing our <span class="caps">DNA</span>, and in attaching ourselves to places.</p> <p>My parents moved to the Portland area about 9 months before I was born, and before that lived for a few years in Eugene. I have never lived in Grants Pass for more than 3 weeks or so, but I&#8217;ve become accustomed to &#8216;owning&#8217; it, to thinking it&#8217;s part of me. When people mention it (or name anthologies after it), I perk up my ears. My car still has its Grants Pass license plate surround. I know the <span class="caps">GPHS</span> colors, remember feeding the ducks at Riverside Park, have walked the main street, passed under the <a href="" target="links">&#8220;It&#8217;s the Climate&#8221;</a> sign, had many milkshakes at the old soda parlor in the Grants Pass Pharmacy. I feel at home in that bowl of blue-green hills. Even though I&#8217;m a proud Portlander, I know my roots are in small towns like Grants Pass and Glendale, <a href="" target="links">Llanfyrnach</a> and <a href="" target="links">Marvejols</a> and Taupinet. Perhaps that&#8217;s silly, or meaningless, or maudlin, but I&#8217;ll be sorry when there are no more DeCourceys in Grants Pass, when I am only a traveler passing through, and not a native grandchild returning.</p> Graceful exit 2008-07-28T08:03:10+00:00 2008-07-28T08:05:36+00:00 <blockquote>A long time ago we used to be friends,<br /> but I haven&#8217;t thought of you lately at all&#8230;<br /> <strong>-<a href="" target="links">The Dandy Warhols</a></strong></blockquote> <p>I&#8217;m back on <a href="" target="links">the friend thing</a>.</p> <p>If social networking had a cheesy 50&#8217;s film strip, the narrator would say, &#8220;Never again will you have to wonder what happened to that guy from math class. Never again will you lose track of that one <em>really cool girl.</em>&#8221; It&#8217;s an excellent theory &#8211; as we diffuse across countries and hop oceans, friendships can be preserved, connections strengthened despite distance. You can reconnect with people you thought you&#8217;d lost.</p> <p>But on the other hand&#8230;do you still like each other? You remember drifting out of friendships during high school as your interests and personality changed. How much more have you changed since then? If you still click, that&#8217;s amazing. But maybe that one <em>really cool girl</em> from high school doesn&#8217;t like me anymore. Maybe your drinking buddy from college has changed religions and given up on pop culture. It&#8217;s hard to rule out until you&#8217;ve had a good look at each other&#8217;s Facebook profiles, or until you realize you&#8217;ve been &#8216;networked&#8217; for six months and realizing you haven&#8217;t a word to say. And then there are the people you meet, the new friends, who you don&#8217;t end up seeing again. You move, they transfer schools or break up with your friend, and there they sit on your &#8220;Friend&#8221; list, someone you met twice and liked. Forever.</p> <p>When I am thirty, how many <a href="" target="links">Facebook</a>, <a href="" target="links">goodreads</a>, or <a href="" target="links">Jyte</a> &#8220;friends&#8221; will I have, and how many of them will really want me on their list? But on the other hand, who wants to &#8220;defriend&#8221; someone on Facebook, thus transforming the world&#8217;s most passive communication device into something a bit passive-aggressive?</p> <p>I propose a tapering mechanism. If someone doesn&#8217;t look at my profile, click &#8216;more&#8217; on my book reviews, or otherwise exchange digital high-fives with me for six months, let me fade off their list. Maybe the system can warn them first, ask them quietly if they really want me to go. Not with a plonk but a whisper, I will fall off their friends list, off their updates and off their radar. And if they ever wonder, &#8220;What is up with that weird Felicity girl, anyway?&#8221; they can search for me anytime. They can read my blog, shrug, and move on. We aren&#8217;t friends anymore, and that&#8217;s okay.</p>