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The events listed in this essay are true. They took place in 1972 and 1973, when I was 10 years old, forty-five years ago. They, and the dear, beautiful girl who made them so memorable, so powerful, have stayed with me ever since. I have (largely, and most days, to be sure) discarded my childish ways. But not my childlike ways. I have Connie to thank for that.

There are embellishments to various events. They could not be helped. I'm here to tell you a story, not recite a police blotter or itemize a journalist's notepad. The embellishments are there to provide a fuller, more focused feel to the story, much as a photography software program adds focus to a blurry photo, or more clarity, or more light, or more color or contrast. One can argue that those elements falsify the truth, and maybe you'd be right. But there is a difference between experience and the so-called reality so many people are so willing to sell their souls to (or just give them away). I tried, verbally, to photograph for you the experiences of that year, which I feel is an attempt at a higher truth than simply providing known and remembered facts, even if the tools I used to do so introduced elements that are time-bound in the here and now and hence may or may not reflect entirely accurately upon past events.

I changed names when appropriate. When appropriate, I didn't.

True love is exceedingly rare in this world. You can let that fact depress you, which it did me for many years, or you can join those of us who dare to embody it, to live it, to walk the Narrow Path that leads from the Narrow Gate. The choice, as always, and for all eternity, is yours to make. Be childlike. The survival of Earth depends on it.

Shawn Michel de Montaigne
March 2017

Reflections of Connie
Memories of a Sundered Love

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