Teryn was a sales representative in a small electronics company where I was the office manager, in Hinsdale, Illinois. She was the only female among a dozen young men who all called on clients in hopes of marketing fax machines and other small business machines. She lived in a big house in Chicago proper where one room was filled with exotic birds in assorted large cages. There was a big blue and yellow Macaw named Papa Bear that used to sit on a small radiator under a bedroom window where he looked out at the world. I still have a feather of his.
Teryn and her then beau, Paul, were very interested in the weavings of South America and had been down there collecting blankets that local people were willing to sell, even though they were family treasures. I was amazed at the stunning handwork she showed me and at the use of intricate split complimentary color systems that I had learned about in my art courses at San Jose State, like the combination of red violet and yellow green.
She was one of those interesting people who hunger for knowledge and sometimes live on the edge to keep expanding their horizons. She had both American and British passports. One afternoon Teryn and Paul, my children and I went walking around in the Field Museum.
In time I moved the children and myself back to Ohio to be closer to the family I was born to and to be able to buy a house which I could not do where we lived in Illinois. Teryn went back home too – to Sarasota, Florida where her mother lived. She became an Adjunct professor of Religious Studies, Humanities, and Anthropology at the University of South Florida.
One time on her way back there from Chicago she stopped for a short visit. I only remember sitting with her on the porch swing before she left again. The thread that connected us was tenuous to say the least, and there was no communication but a Christmas card some years. Then one day she found me on face book and while we are friends, there continued to be little or no communication. Last spring she said she was passing through and would like to see me but that never happened. This past October she surfaced again saying she was going to be at the Field Museum studying some skulls and would be going from there to the Smithsonian to do more of the same (for work on her Ph. D.) and she would stop for sure this time.
She did show up this time and though she could only stay to have dinner before getting back into her white Prius and heading east, we did our best to fill that time catching up and with her promise to come back next time for a full day and an overnight stay.
I continue to be intrigued by the connectedness of people, even when a thread seems thin, it is still there.