People Change: T S Eliot


We die to each other daily.
What we know of other people
Is only our memory of the moments
During which we knew them. And they have changed since then.
To pretend that they and we are the same
Is a useful and convenient social convention
Which must sometimes broken. We must also remember
That at every meeting we are meeting a stranger.

T S Eliot

The Cocktail Party
The illustration is ‘Skin on zip’ by Donskaya Olga via Shutterstock.

Have you had the same experience as me? Some of my friends go back to my school days or university, decades ago. We may not see each other for a while but when we do can pick up instantly where we left off. The friendship is like a mature glass of burgundy.

Others of my friends (thankfully a smaller group) I may see more frequently but am beginning to realise that our molecular structure has each changed to the point that the basis for the easy relationship we once had seems no longer to be there. Very difficult simply to acknowledge this and move on without causing hurt on either side. But also increasingly more difficult simply to pretend that it isn’t happening.

About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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