October 15, 2012
Underlined, ME Newsletter, Vol. 5, Issue 42
My week of separations continued. Following Monday’s situational disappointment, came Tuesday’s realization that I have lost my Ireland journal. The thing about the journal is, that’s where all my memories are. Upon reflection, that isn’t quite right. I should have real mind-set memories, no? I tried sitting down and running through the days in my mind. Although I was able to jot down basic bits and pieces, I’ve lost the emotion that went with them. I have a few fond memories of circumstantial meetings and forged bonds. But it occurs to me that I missed a lot over there. Taking down notes, drawing out scenarios, descriptions in detail, kept me from… everything. I’ve been clinging to my notebook for a few years now. Not the same one, of course. Many half empty booklets and binders reflect my unfinished business. I go back over them occasionally and read what I’ve forgotten about. I am starting to wonder if the writing has become a hindrance.
Because, truly, I think it places a barrier between me and others. Nobody interrupts a painter painting; no one approaches a writer writing. I can project a sincere not-now-I’m-writing vibe and find myself unbothered. I’ve truly never been a verbal butterfly, but it occurs to me I am no longer even a mild social being, in terms of exchange. Observation is enjoyable; participating means sharing. If I could go forward without a past, I would. But I can’t and the where, when, why, who and what timing of revelation is still an awkward mystery to me. Natural curiosity makes people want to know who they are conversationally sharing brain space with. I don’t know where to start sharing why I am who I am now. The pen serves me well for solid separation and allows me to retreat behind paper walls. I use them both as a shield and to fill awkward spaces where I am obviously alone.
So, now, without my latest journal, I find I am only recalling bits and pieces. Strangely, they are drawn from conversations and meetings, and all the rest is just background noise. Turning up the volume doesn’t make the past any clearer; not the recent past, not the not-so-long ago past, and certainly not the long-long ago past. So, what does it mean then, that I remember only interactions and fail to recall observations? I Is my lack of memories due to hard drive deletion, or do I have I simply not made any? Once committed to paper, I set them free. For lack of holding on to them, and lack of holding true conversations, I have plenty of empty mind space, and a mostly empty heart, as well.
I find myself sighing, tilting my head into another god-smack. I think it’s time to stop hiding behind props and begin engaging. I’m trying to envision another trip to Ireland (or church or the coffee shop or anywhere) without a notebook to protect me. Not easy to imagine, it draws up an uneasy fear, and sits quietly above emphatic, flowery doodles of distraction. Trying to figure a way out of this uncomfortable conclusion, I read these paragraphs again, silently in my own voice, and find myself reaching the same uncomfortable conclusion. Underlined.
Posted by jaselin at October 15, 2012 08:30 PM