Friday, December 19, 2008
My old passport mysteriously arrived in the mail in a very thin and subdued looking brown envelope. I initially overlooked it, as it was in a stack of other junk-looking materials that I put aside to sort. Even though it is not yet officially expired, it came with two holes stamped in the space where a customs agent would run my information through a computer. The old picture of me came coupled with a new, stapled copy of the recent picture I submitted for the new passport. In my mind, I imagined the State Department agent looking at the two pictures of me from his or her desk and saying, "Yep, looks like the same woman here. Looks like she's aging pretty well." Or something like that. Maybe. I had to laugh when I looked at the juxtaposition of the two images of the two young women with the same smiling eyes. It occurred to me that I have come to know these women so intimately well. Yet as I gazed upon them, I couldn't help but think of the mystery each of them exudes from their photos, even to me, the little brain spirit who inhabits the space behind each set of hazel brown eyes.
So it looks like I am saving my old passport for posterity (and my future grandchildren) after all. Of course, the idea didn't fail to cross my mind that saving something so small with so much intention means that there is a connection made to hope. By this, I mean that when I realized that my life, my travels and my memories may not exist in isolation. Maybe I will have a granddaughter one day who will covet my old passport collection as I once similarly coveted the college yearbook of my own grandmother. Maybe. And maybe this means that connecting to something called hope brings me back to a connection with intention.