It’s interesting the places that thoughts originate. Usually, the deepest thoughts I have are in the moments I sit in a crowded room of students, or in the car, or anywhere else where I do not have a good place to write them down and really sit and think about them.
Today in a class I am taking, we had to sit and list “titles” of short stories we could tell our neighbor about ourselves – these stories were to be stories that we would normally tell someone – either things we’ve recounted over and over as happy or sad memories, or stories that help us to know someone better. The general idea is that by the end of our telling of stories, our neighbor would interpret them in a different light than we had recounted them. Thinking of my life stories which I would be willing to share with my neighbor, was a little difficult, but naming those stories was even harder… Here is what I came up with:
“How I became an English Major”
“A long drive with birdseed in my hair”
“Knitter’s Playground – a short run”
Because of those titles and because I had to think of ways to tell these stories of my life, without influencing my neighbors interpretation by giving my emotional or deeply personal responses, I began to think about the most memorable parts of those stories….and they’re interesting. I tend to not store memories (and maybe people do, or maybe I’m just as weird as I think I am) as full stories in my life. I remember bits and pieces of things, but not every last detail.
I remember at a CSSSA when a roommate and myself ate an entire Large pizza – and then attended a showing (my first) of Rocky Horror Picture Show in the student lounge
I remember playing the piano at 2 in the morning the night my grandfather died.
I remember standing in front of Carnegie Hall, reading the information that there would be a performance of Handel’s “Messiah” the next evening – a free, practice performance – and being mystified – and then so quickly disappointed as my companions, first had never heard of Carnegie hall or Handel’s Messiah, and second that they refused to come with me (being 15, I was not allowed to leave the group and go myself)
I remember the plane ride back from New York – being so excited at my luck of being bumped up to First class – and absolutely horrified that the older man sitting next to me (between me and my ability to exit the seat to the bathroom), was so drunk that I could not even wake him up to excuse myself from my seat – I climbed over him.
I remember walking through a mall shopping for bridesmaid dresses for a friends wedding and feeling so exhausted and realizing in that moment that I was pregnant
A couple weeks down the line, I remember sitting in the community clinic and a nurse relaying the information that confirmed my suspicions – but mostly I remember her very first questions “You plan on keeping the baby, right?!” – I remember thinking: “Of course, why would we do anything else.” and at the same time, feeling sick with fear and the weight of our soon to be reality began to descend…
Smiling uncontrollably on my wedding day. Mine and Scott’s cheeks hurt so very bad – and the birdseed in my hair and in my car – took weeks to come out.
I remember telling my English teacher why I hadn’t finished my papers and I have never forgotten how much grace she had for me – that she took me outside the classroom and just hugged me while I cried and without knowing anything about my life besides what she had gleaned in one semester, she assured me that things would turn out all right.
I remember the first Art About in my Yarn shop – only a few weeks after I opened – a gentleman who had come to see the art being showcased, complimented the atmosphere of the shop, saying that even though he didn’t knit, he felt so welcome there – and I remember the last Art About I hosted, only a month before I closed – the very same man coming up to me to inform me that something had changed.
So much more…..but these are the moments that have stuck with me – and there is probably some psychological/scientific reason that these are times in which my heart felt like it might explode -mostly with disappointment or grief, but sometimes with love too..
Anyway. just thought I’d share.