|Linda turns 71 today, but ever since the early years of our friendship, we've always found lots to laugh about. John photographed us together in 1985, when we were both in our 30s.|
|We've dropped the makeup and added a cat, but Linda and I still find lots to talk about. John took this photo of us in 2012.|
|Linda has always been an avid knitter, to the benefit of her friends and family. In this photo taken by John this fall, Linda puts the final fittings on a hat she is making for me.|
I planned to write a paean to my friend Linda today in celebration of her 71st birthday, but find I am blocked, the computer screen yawning and empty. It's not that there is nothing to say; it is that there is too much. We met in the early 1980s when we were both in our 30s. Linda was a fine arts graduate working in a law firm; I was a newspaper reporter hoping to do great things. She was an urban Toronto kid with a fine sense of design; I was a prairie farm girl with no fashion sense at all. Our common ground was literature and laughter, and we've held onto that through 30-plus years of all the things that happen in a lifetime.
When you're 30, you can't imagine a contemporary ever turning 71 -- at that age, you have no idea of the richness that gets compressed into the accumulating years. And you don't know that at 71, given the opportunity to return to your younger self -- minus all that richness -- you would probably choose against it.