So I packed all the pretty things that we got for our wedding twenty-one years ago, the things that I’ve packed about 10 times over the years, carefully labeling their boxes “fragile.”  You know, the fancy crystal bowls and candlesticks and things.  It’s funny really.  We’ve never used them.  They are pretty.  I like looking at them occasionally.  But when it comes down to it, if those boxes all smashed in a heap while we were trying to load them, it wouldn’t be that big a deal.

Maybe we should put some big “Fragile” labels on ourselves, one on the front and the back and each side.  That would be more to the point.  You know, just to warn everyone in Fresno who sees us that we’re feeling rather vulnerable and unsure of ourselves as we arrive back in our home town.  Hi everyone.  Careful what you say to us.  We might break.  That sort of thing.

Or maybe we could send an explanation beforehand.  It would say something along the lines of “The reason we keep leaving Fresno and then coming back to it, is that we are on the labyrinthian plan.  You know, like those labyrinths that are put on the floors of some cathedrals with a path that goes round and round until you get to the center.  So we’ve been going round and round.  That’s why we seem to come and go a lot.  But now (we hope) we found the center.  And it’s in Fresno.  Right, I know you didn’t know that Fresno was the center of the whole cosmic scheme of things.  You thought it was more along the lines of the armpit of the Central Valley.  But there you go.  You learn something new every day.”

But of course what we’ll really say is “Hi!  So good to see you again!  Yes, it’s nice to be back close to family.  And how are you?”  Because that’s the sort of thing that we say to each other, and not usually stuff about labyrinths and cosmic schemes.  Probably  because we’re all a bit fragile, when it comes down to it.


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