It is thick, this layer of dust on my mostly abandoned blog, with seasons and changes, days and years…gone without written proof that the moments that peppered them existed at all. Or that I did. Why I let that happen has surprised me in some widening splinter of recognition every day. Summer splendor and winter weariness, year to year, mostly gone –– little pen to paper in that private world of a journal or public view of a blog, started and then left to dangle. Shouldn’t that be a writer’s milk? When I think of all the experiences not documented, feelings not recorded, I feel a kind of recurring death; a killing of moments let to pass, of thoughts and feelings, actions and words let to slip through my fingers like grains of Cape Cod sand, forever washed away with the changing tides.
Can we ever recapture them? I don’t think so, but we can learn anew.
When I was younger and thought life as I’d always known it would continue to be there for me until the day I was finally ready to attend, I let plenty slide. My family, the house I grew up in, the books I first came to love, that pink and white quilt on my childhood bed. And then one day, it was too late. And now they are long gone, irretrievable, their memories shapeshifting with every passing hour. What was it Mom said when I wrote that first short story? How many fish had Dad and I caught that July Saturday at Onesquethaw Creek? What was it about Anne Frank and Jem and Scout that had invited me into their difficult worlds with such befriending ease? Young adult pain and mistakes, college lit class discoveries that catapulted me into the land of the curious and restless, early trips abroad…gone, gone, gone.
I wish I’d written it all down…and every day since those earliest of days, from high school graduation and boyfriends to post-school friends who tried to help me save my own life. From college courage to a first husband’s honest and kind yearning, with which I’d tried to braid my own. The long stream of workdays and dreaming nights until a rupture from which extrication was frightening and sweeping and eyeopening. Followed by a fresh and lifesaving beginning with my new husband, which still takes my breath away. And yet most of it has escaped the trailing thread of ink that would have told me how it truly was for me at the time. Now all I have is my superimposed and ever changing memories of days gone by. Will I ever really know? I doubt it, but what I do have is the first page of my new book of old and now me.