Wednesday, August 19, 2009
This morning I went into my studio to get another book to read. I discovered that I have no more books to read. Looking through all the books I've read before (not many, as I don't keep everything I read) I started thinking about re-reading a book or two from my past. As I reached out for Cat's Eye, I was shuttled back in time: in highschool, living at home with my family, reading the story of Elaine and Cordelia over the Christmas holidays. Sitting on the love seat in the living room with a cup of hot tea, mom on the white chair with a magazine. I couldn't keep my mind on the book because my eyes were entranced by the reflections in the golden ornament on the Christmas tree, moving slightly in the warm air from the furnace vent.
Then I reached for White Oleander, and suddenly I was 21 working in my first real job. Sitting in the cold, dark chyron compose room reading between productions. Pages that made springtime come alive, pages that had me dreaming of sunshine for many months, so I too could feel that melting relief, the first warm days, the first birdsongs of March. Pages that held a mirror up to my face that I treat despair like an important guest, pull up it's favourite chair and make it's favourite drink. I still do that.
These things caused me to see that sometimes memories can't be tampered with. I passed up both books in fear that these feelings and memories would be dimmed upon a second reading. I did not want to replace the golden christmas ornament, the tea, the springtime despair, with an aging, squealing subway commute to work.
Cherish your memories, and hold them close. Mine seem to be in a glass box, on display forever in the strange abyss of my mind.