Friday, February 26, 2010

More Memories

Some very bad quality pictures of pictures. But they bring the point across.
Finding a sand-dollar.
Goofing off. This is the summer my younger sister and I pretended to be twins for summer camp. Probably grade 7?
Being taught how to sail by mon pere.
Sister D, age 10
Brother J, age 7 perhaps
this is a very young D making a geo-duck spray
"Red sky at night."
The only superstition my mother endorsed, good Christian woman, while I secretly saw the future everywhere in little things, like rocks and clouds and whether people walked on the outside or inside of a sidewalk.

Sailor's delight: to being 10 years old and taking a burrito for lunch on the Sea Cow, sailing by myself. Pull, tack, speed and lean. Sun and sweat.
I have forgotten how. I couldn't sail now.

Red sky at morning, and my father is shaking us into consciousness in the pink dawn. We stumble down to the beach, and the sea is miles and miles away with a desert of tidepools separating it from I. I search for geo-duck holes, and when I find one I apply pressure with my toes until it shoots a geyser of water above my head, and if I'm lucky, on my sister. Ha ha.

Sailor's take warning: they don't understand it here. They profess to love the ocean, and they say they will eventually live there, someday, but it's not in their blood, it's not their heart beat and it's not the rhythm of their breathing.

This is the sea. It is constant and green and sublime. It is pin-pricks everywhere, and blinding sun overhead. The circling and wheeling of tides and gulls and crabs under rocks.

It makes me tired and sad to think on this. It's the same sapping of energy that comes from spending a day where your environment asks for so much of you, in return for allowing you to reside.


  1. I am not a sea me it is forlorn and lonely. When I am around the ocean, after a while I just want to get away. To me it is incredibly depressing.

    My wife speculates that I drowned in my past life.

    But aside from all that ocean stuff -- cute pictures.

  2. You paint a beautiful picture of the past, Jane.

    I often thought how amazing it would be if photographs could be scented...The scent of the moment and the place where they were taken...Especially those on the sea/ocean shore.
    But I guess our memory is keeping those scents alive.:)

    Thank you for sharing.

  3. I've never read such stirring accounts of someone being pulled and tugged by their memories before. Powerful stuff, and lyrically written as always. It sounds, though, that while you may try to avoid putting yourself in situations (or remembered places) where this happens, you always take something away from it, be it a lesson or even just a feeling.

    You know an awful lot about living for somebody our age.

  4. Jerry: Thank you for your point of view. I rarely get to see what other people actually think of the ocean, and when I ask it's always so positive and happy and glowing, like if they said they didn't like it it would make them a bad person. So thanks for being refreshingly honest.

    Laura: wow, thanks for the award! You're so sweet. I'll be by to pick it up in a few days, I have a ton of essays due this week that I need to get working on for school.
    And yes, it would be amazing if photos were scented. Maybe sometimes not so pleasant, but definitely would make the past come more alive. Good thing or bad thing....hmmm...

    Dear Knight in Shining, etc.: here's the thing: you are right about me not always wanting to return to places where certain memories have occurred. But life is life, and it often happens, right? So I guess I just try to make the best of a potentially bad situation. Good on you for understanding that!
    We are studying the Romantics in English right now (Wordsworth, Keats, Coleridge, etc.) and they had this great idea that it wasn't about the end result of their poetry, goals, plans, whatever, but the process itself. This idea has taken a hold of my life...I love it. It's fascinatingly counter-culture, and like stepping outside of the stream of time for a while.
    As always, thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

  5. Have I mentioned how flattered I am that you're calling me Knight-in-Shining, etc.?

    That's all you can do, right? Sometimes you just have to make the best of a bad situation. Or claim that your favorite grandmother just died and you have to go now, sorry.

    Ah, Wordsworth and Coleridge! I must look them up again. Haven't gone near them since British Literature. I did a project on Blake's "The Tyger" in that class and that rather burned me out. I always thought Wordsworth had a lovely way with words. I never knew there was that kind of philosophy behind them, though. God is not in the results, but in the process. I think we too often forget that. You're right, it's a fascinating idea. Kind of makes you see clearer, breathe easier, walk lighter.

    As always, thanks for posting such thought-provoking things.