The night before I was leaving for a recent trip to India, I had a flash of insight, realizing I could include more family pictures in my first book, Mother Tongue. I always pack light, no matter how long the trip, so, instead of packing and chasing down chocolate powder and deciding what to do with my mysteriously unstartable car, I set off on my family photo project.
Could my book midwife make adding more photos happen? Could I find the pictures I had in mind, scan them, and reread enough of the book to figure out where to include them?
Packing? What packing?
My excitement over this new possibility energized me to the point that all tasks were now possible, no matter the timeline. With great joy I leafed through the albums my mother had carefully saved.
I went on to read through my book, and the next day, during my flight to India, I planned where to add the photos. But before that, I got distracted one more time.
When I couldn't find a picture of Harold, my late husband, with my mom — and couldn't get from my apartment in San Francisco to my house in Healdsburg (where more photos are stored) because my car wouldn't start — I turned everything in my apartment upside down in desperation, searching for it.
Instead, I found a Christmas card from 1965 from someone in Chicago who had been unsuccessfully trying to find me for months. I had no memory of this person, but decided that it was a good idea to look her up.
I figured that in these days of Facebook and Instagram and LinkedIn and Twitter, she would be easy to find. However, since my generation seems to lag when it comes to technology, all I found was an article from 2012:
Anne Kuznetsov,* 62, was arrested by the Chicago Illinois State Police at 3:45 p.m. on an outstanding La Grange Police Department warrant for driving with a suspended license, police said.
Somebody my age would've been 62 five years ago. And I realized that I must've met Anne in 1965, when I went to a summer national Junior Achievement Conference in Indiana. Like me, she was the winner of a the trip of a lifetime.
But the only information I could find was that pathetic paragraph?
If I didn't have to jump out of bed, shower, finish packing, and head for the airport, I would have had time to consider far more deeply what that all meant, and hopefully, someday I will find the inspiration to keep searching.
*name has been changed