Returning to America after four years in Europe

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Stories you know

Garrison Keillor, one of my favorite writers, was at the Hollywood Bowl last weekend. At the end of his show, he talked about returning to the storied Lake Wobegon, a place filled with “people who know the stories you know.”

The words struck deep and my eyes welled with tears. In a few eloquent words, Keillor summarized why I have come home.

Two nights earlier, I attended the 30th birthday party dinner for my friend Steve. (It was my second 30th birthday party in a week.) Steve is a friend from USC and most of the people at the dinner were also friends from school, good friends I’ve known since freshman year and who have lasted through many jobs, relationships, apartments and personal evolutions.

Despite all the many changes in each of our lives, there is a great fondness between us. And it was alive that night. We laughed about the parties we used to throw – and the drinks we used to invent. We remembered crazy neighbors and silly trips. And, as the evening progressed, we talked the way we used to – about the things we wanted to do and the ideas we have.

As we were leaving, my friend Jon said, “That’s exactly the kind of night I needed. Just shooting the shit."

Just being with the people who know the stories you know.


At 12:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny because there is something there in that group.

The next night I went to a reunion of all the people I worked with at Paramount, 7 years ago and it was really strange because when you have a group of people united by a common element (we all worked there) and then you take away that element, is there anything left?

Throughout the night as the conversation grew beyond what have you been up to for the last 5 years, it became evident that there wasn't much else there but with the group from thursday, there is something more.

As my other group of friends grows I am beginning to see that there are a handful of people I am really close with but a whole lot that I don't really care too much about. I noticed at a pool party on sunday that I would stop myself from going to a certain spot to avoid talking to someone I didn't really want to.

It's interesting as I begin to choose the people I want close to me, the people that I share the same values with and in some ways it's a lot like knowing the stories I know, because the actual stories may be different, but the lessons, truths, values, feelings, are the same and that's what is becoming important to me.


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