Posts Tagged ‘friends’

In the Memory of Amanda, RenĂ©, Ying…

Two strangers, many years ago

Two strangers, many years ago

I don’t know who those two girls are. By the look of the frames, they must be full grown up women by now. They could be mothers, or even grandmothers. One of them could be even dead for all I know.

I have found those pics in an open group in Facebook. Not just any group. A group that is named after my old high school, where I spent three years, between 14-17. So, that makes me feel a bit entitled to kind of steal the photos. Although, to be clear, I haven’t claimed any membership to that group.

I’m using these pictures that belong to perfect strangers to make a point: Internet, and very particularly social media, keep a sort of cruel memory.

At age 32, the notion that we are all mortals already struck me many years ago. I have lost some family. I have lost some friends.

But my grandparents weren’t Millennials, they had no Facebook Walls or LinkedIn Profiles or Skype accounts. However, my friends who are not here anymore, they did. Every year, for every new birthday, Skype sends a notification, Facebook shows a reminder, LinkedIn advices to say happy birthday and reconnect. Every new time, I dismiss those warnings feeling somehow sad.

I could “unfriend” them, or block them, or filter them from my feeds. I have considered it, but I am not capable. It feels like I could be offending them -or the memories that I have from them. So what I do is to click on their names and visit their profiles.

I read again the farewell messages. I scroll down to find their last post. I see some pictures where we are both tagged… And again I find myself wondering what if… they hadn’t gone. Where would they be, what would they be doing, whether we would still be friends.

It feels like they haven’t gone yet, not entirely, or maybe they’re back for a moment. Their ghosts linger in the Web. And I cry, just a little, just a shy tear.

Florence, 2010. With Ying and Gayatri, view from San Miniato al Monte

Florence, 2010. With Ying and Gayatri, view from San Miniato al Monte



Posted: February 26, 2014 by jennroig in Chronicles, English, Miscellaneous
Tags: , ,

Where would I be without friends? My friends who have been there for me, every step of the way.

More importantly: Who would I be without all the support, input, company, lessons and criticism received from my friends?

Very relevant: What is to be a friend?


-Friends will let you know very clearly when and where you screwed up.

-Friends will tell you that it’s ok to be you, no matter how much it seems you don’t fit quite right in this world. They will tell you to hold on to yourself, your dreams, your values and your beliefs even if they don’t share it, and especially when the entire rest of the world is pushing hard for you to change.

-Friends will introduce you to other friends because they think it’s a win-win situation. This means they will try to shelter you, no matter how far you are, even if you are actually doing well.

-Friends will be willing to cross the ocean to see you, if they think you need to be pampered or slapped.

-Friends will listen to your idea, your story, your memory, even if they are not really sure what to understand, or what it means at all. They will tell you later, but they will listen because they feel it’s something you need to get out of your system.

-Friends will show up from nowhere, due to no reason, just to tell you how fond they are about the way you write, paint, take photographs, dance, design, code… or how cool you look playing basketball or football, even though you know that’s far from true.

-Friends will plan with you the greatest holiday trips, and then you will both end up doing something totally different, something improvised that turns out to feel a 1000 times better.

-Friends sometimes stop showing up in your life. This is no reason to be mad at your friends, if it’s because they are doing well and are busy being happy. That happiness will support them later, when not so lucky moments arrive. But sometimes friends withdraw because they feel sad, hopeless and helpless, they don’t want to share it with you so you won’t get sad and worry about them. Sometimes these friends don’t come out to meet you again, ever again. Some friends will be gone for good, leaving a void impossible to fill.

-Friend can call you in the middle of the night, for no reason, just because they felt goosebumps while listening to a totally unrelated news and suddenly got worried about you.

-Friends will show up for you when your country has been massively damaged by some natural disaster.

-Whenever you hear some news about a war, or a bomb, or a terrorist attack, that just happened in a friend’s country, you want to hear from your friend ASAP, no matter if your friend lives in the other extreme of that country.

-Most true friends agree that Facebook sucks, because it misleads you to think you are actually keeping up with your friends’ lives and events.

I think now that I should have written this post more than a week before, it would have been definitely a more popular post if published by February 14th… But my friends are my friends for some reason, by this time they are fully aware of my type A personality, totally at odds with tradition. So they won’t be surprised!

Cassandra at odds

Posted: December 26, 2012 by jennroig in English, Miscellaneous
Tags: , ,

Cassandra is a mythological character. A sad, tragic one. She was the daughter of Priam and Hecuba, king and queen of Troy when it was destroyed by the Greeks. There are many versions of Cassandra’s original curse, but it always refers to a beautiful girl with the possibility of seeing into the future, with no one believing her.


Well, yes, Cassandra could foresee the future. How about the past?

Stupid idea, who needs to foresee the past? It’s gone, it has been lived, there are no secrets on the past. At least our individual past.

However, memory is a tricky thing. I’ve got some taste of that these past days.

I’ve met someone from my past. I knew his name, his surname, I could remember a lot of things, and I certainly thought I’d remembered everything, until he started to tell pieces of memories I couldn’t recall. Not just one scene, or conversation, or somebody’s name, but the whole thing. I had forgotten people he had introduced me, even a full night episode.

While he was telling me, I had the flashbacks, slowly recovering moments, remembering people, drawing scenarios, the feeling of a probable weather… I hated the feeling that I had lost parts of my life. I got scared of the possibility of having lost even more moments, more people, more feelings and thoughts.

Funny thing is that I believed I had a nice memory. Sometimes I’m lazy to take photographs because I think I better live the moment as intensely as I can, because if it’s intense, then the memory will remain. I’m not so sure now.

I’m do think Cassandra was cursed. Even if I come to wish it many times, I rather go for not seeing into my future.

How about the past? Oblivion can be a blessing sometimes, if it allows to forget painful moments. Blocking those images from my mind it’s a skill I’ve developed. Of course, I like to think I’ve kept the life lessons. But the surprise has come to prove me that I have blocked, or lost, not only the sad parts.

So, is it there anyway to prevent memories to vanish? If a curse or a bless was proposed, to prevent those pieces of life from being redacted, the good and the bad ones, would be worthy to take it?