After this past year or so of not going anywhere regularly, this week’s song has a different meaning than it did in 2018 when I first wrote it.
It’s a song about those people that you (used to) see regularly – a server at a favorite restaurant, an employee of a neighboring business in your office complex, the security guard at the library. You say a quick hello as you pass or exchange a quick “So glad it’s Friday!” smile in the elevator.
We comment on the weather as we pass in the hall
To our respective desks, we don’t know each other at all
Hours turn to days, your face part of the landscape
Until one morning, you are gone
The idea for this song came after I left a job in an office complex and was thinking how weird it was that I used to see some of the same people every week my company was in that building. Although I didn’t even know their name or anything about them, we headed to the same space every weekday and spent the entire day in the same building before exiting the doors to go home.
So many faces in all these places
Memory erases and fades away
We all leave traces in all these spaces
Our paths may cross again someday
If you work in the same office as somebody, you may not necessarily be friends with them but you often know something about their life or at the very least hear about their departure. But not even Google can give you the answers you seek about what happened to someone if you don’t even know their name.
After you left, I realized I don’t know your name
Only your smile is imprinted in my brain
Where did you go, I know my questions come too late
I hesitated, you moved on
I believe people come into your life for a reason and even random exchanges have a purpose. We don’t always comprehend what it is, but it’s all part of a greater picture. If you were supposed to have a deeper connection than a daily pass in the hall, then it would have developed into more. Or perhaps the brief exchange was planting a seed for something in the future.
Maybe someday we will see each other again
Across the table of a mutual friend
We’ll say ‘I think we’ve met before, though I don’t know when’
And then we’ll talk ’til dawn.
Although the song was originally about those are only marginally part of our lives, what about those we had deeper connections with before the pandemic?
Colleagues that you used to regularly used to see at annual conferences? Fellow members of your synagogue or church? Even relatives that live out of state or in a different country or former classmates or co-workers that you’d occasionally meet for coffee?
I think that one thing this past year has reminded me is how precious these relationships are. Also how missed those people are who I won’t see once this is all over because they didn’t make it through the past year. You never know when it’s the last time you’ll see someone in person so it’s a good reminder to treasure moments of connection when they happen.