How the years go by
It occurred to me Sunday evening that it's been fifteen years (plus a week) since the end of my Wanderjahr.
Which means that I neglected to mark the fifteenth anniversary of various notable occasions. In particular, the Fourth of July this year was the fifteenth anniversary of my meeting both Mary Anne and Cat.
I also noticed that I finished reading Ondaatje's The English Patient the week I met Mary Anne. Coincidence? (I had no idea he was Sri Lankan at the time.)
That year was also when I started my Words & Stuff column. And it was the year when I got back in touch with Alex—and a few months later it became the year of his first suicide attempt.
On skimming through various Wanderjahr entries, I think that year was also the last time I saw various people who I've since lost touch with: Cathy P, Carrie M, Karen K. (That's Swarthmore Karen K, not Palo Alto Karen K.)
A lot of changes that year, and a lot of stuff that influenced my later life. Even more so than the usual ways that experiences echo through and shape our lives.
Maybe it's time for another Wanderjahr. —No, no, I'm joking, I don't need any more big changes in my life in the near future. But the part about traveling around and visiting friends is certainly still appealing.