i can still sing the drum line’s cadence…

8 04 2004

i’ve been doing a lot of woolgathering lately. and by “lot” i mean LOT. like, i haven’t actually gotten any academic work done all week, because when my darling husband leaves the house, i look at the work, and then i start looking at old e-mails, and then i start looking through the journals i wrote in high school, and then i’m still doing that when the door opens again at the end of the day.

high school is a change; usually i go through these periods of obsessing about college drama instead. but, then, usually it’s triggered by something said by someone i still talk to fairly regularly (or some stupid thing somebody’s done), which drives me to try to figure out how out-of-character that thing was as compared to what i think i remember happening, which means looking up what actually happened (in my interpretation, of course) at the time… whereas this time it started w/some dream i really shouldn’t have been having about a boy–literally–i haven’t dreamed about in a LONG string of years. no idea where that came from, unless it was bad television about high school kids (not that far-fetched a possibility)…

(i like high school better, i think. it’s both more manageable in terms of varied influences, and easier to rationalize later on. my journals read just like my actual memories of the experiences, though. one day everything’s FANTASTIC, and i think “my god, i had the BEST life!” and the next day, everything’s SO awful that i think “my god, how in the hell did i live through this at all?!” or, as he (the boy in question) described it yesterday, it’s a wonder we made it through without “at least one case of spontaneous combustion due to hormonal super saturation.”)

i was really annoyed at myself about this for the first day or two i was doing it, and felt furtive and sneaky and bad. and then i wrote some poetry, and looked at some more pictures, and did some thinking (tons. heaps. NOT about anything i was supposed to think about, and so about so many other things…) and realized that i think i’m actually really glad i’ve spent these days there. because a) it’s put me back in touch with a lot of ME that i’d been too far away from to even remember was out there, and b) led me to remember a lot of fun, ridiculous things that i’d forgotten about, and c) allowed me to revise some of the impressions i’d been carrying around about things that have made me sad or angry or whatever, and d) prompted it to occur to me for the first time ever that i wasn’t really FAT in high school, just not particularly photogenic, and e) inspired me to talk to a few people i haven’t talked to in too long, and f) triggered some long-overdue rationalization about some things i’ve been blaming myself for for FAR too long, and g) reminded me what my own voice sounds like, when i’m writing for myself, which i don’t really do anymore, both b/c of time constraints and physical handicaps i didn’t have back then, but h) it’s therefore prodding me to think about ways around them instead of just accepting inability and being silenced by workload and distance and blank moments all in a row the way i’ve been doing.

so i think ultimately that what i thought was a really dumb idea was actually a pretty good one, if ill-timed in light of my current scholarly obligations. how wierd is that, right? i can’t tell if it’s indicative of growing up or extreme regression, but i recognized myself somewhere in between (the haircut probably helps), and that combined with the snow melting (threatening to return, but between snows, dammitt, there’s grass, and sun, and crocuses and snow drops, and a few of them even survived the last freeze and DON’T look like stewed spinach in the yard!) is improving my outlook in all kinds of sparkly ways that i hope are WAY contagious.

haven’t gone squirrel-fishing yet, but it shouldn’t be hard. we have a LOT of squirrels. anybody looking for a place to try it out can come on up…

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7 responses

8 04 2004
message_2love

Yay!!
WOW! that was a long exhale! did you notice how you kept saying you “shouldn’t” be thinking about those things right now? Or that you “should” be thinking about this or that other thing? well, if it affected you so much and made you feel so alive and contemplative and happy, then obviously there’s nothing else in the world you COULD have been doing! i’m happy you got to have those moments. mostly becuase I like it when my friends are uplifted and joyful, and partially b/c stupid 5-years-ago me burned my high school journals. (and all because my stupid boyfriend at the time thought i should share them with him b/c we’re supposed to “share everything”. a simple “hell no, you’re nuts” couldn’t suffice, no, i had to go and burn them… sheesh.) anyways – i got to enjoy the little glimmer of your past-self remembrances that you were able to share… i know it goes a lot deeper than that, and your Past provides such a fabulous new perspective on your Now. Keep on diggin in those journals and pictures! It’s You, only better than you remembered:)

10 04 2004
tyra

Re: Yay!!
burn NOTHING ELSE. i suppose that’s almost obsolete advice these days–how much of what we committ to words is actually on pages rather than screens/disks/whatevers, and so expendable that way anyway? but it’s a tragic practice. one of my friends used to burn all of her journals to keep her sisters out of them. why write them at all, i never figured out. now that i can’t write by hand anymore they’re all so, so much more precious than ever… even the ones that got rained on so they can’t be read (which still pains me!) and the ones in secret codes i can hardly read anymore (but i could still de-code them if i had a lot of time and energy to devote to the practice!)
actually, secret codes are a really good idea, btw. i started doing THAT after one of my ex-boyfriends DID get into my journal, and not only read it but photocopied it, shared the copies w/his most recent ex-girlfriend, and went through them with a pink highlighter to mark the things they thought were important to our social circle. (which i only know because another friend found the copies and gave them back to me–and those i DID burn!)

9 04 2004
reedrover

Skipping merrily down Memory Lane. Look at the flowers!
a) it’s put me back in touch with a lot of ME that i’d been too far away from to even remember was out there, and b) led me to remember a lot of fun, ridiculous things that i’d forgotten about
I completely understand both of these thoughts. Because of Mom’s dissertation about TJ girls and math classes, I got to go back and analyze the why of my academic choices. But going back through the notebooks, notes, pictures and files (yes, files!) of what happened back then emotionally and socially is really amazing sometimes. I recently had to open my memory trunk to find one of my karate belts, and spend a fun hour digging through the papers in there.
Remember pass-around storywriting? There was an ongoing notebook that started in 8th grade where we were all Star Trek characters. I don’t own that notebook, but I have some of the loose sheets somewhere. I have stories and poems that CH edited or contributed or gave to me. I have some absolutely horrible pictures of the Beths through three grades. I have video tape of Once Upon a Mattress and the surround from Fiddler on the Roof, my video introduction to Mason Neck park from freshman biology class, and the music video I made in junior year of Spirit Week. Wow, we were absolute weirdos!
…. And some people wonder why I speak of high school as something I enjoyed and recommend. When mental and social and emotional support and integration is valued above social climbing and appearance, I know it must be a good thing.

10 04 2004
tyra

Re: Skipping merrily down Memory Lane. Look at the flowers!
horrible pictures are a necessity. (like marda’s bear?) those people who wonder will have to keep at it. i can’t explain. nobody can explain, really. i tell them to watch real genius. none of that’s exactly right, but the mood isn’t far off and the flying things seem apropos. 🙂

9 04 2004
susanmarie

Drum cadences!
I still hum ours, too! And I’m waaaaaay farther away from high school than you, y’know….
Inappropriate dreams about old flames are really bizarre. I still dream that I’m breaking up with my ex, and that was over 12 years ago. I had a dream the other night that I was time traveling, and landed in the middle of the time when the ex met *her* ex! Very weird.
I dream a lot about flying, too. Hmmmm…

10 04 2004
tyra

Re: Drum cadences!
that ROCKS. the still humming part, that is. i can run about singing ours really loudly, if i have a reason to (not that i expect such a reason to ever come along again… but it came in handy when i was a color-guard captain, and we had to write flagwork to go with it, and didn’t have a tape-recorder handy…)
it’s funny the things we lose, and the ones we devote neurons to storing for so, so long…
time travel assumes a geography of time. what if we’re already in all of it? deep thoughts… ::shakes like wet dog:: must be about time to go dye some eggs!

12 04 2004
cheshirrrecat

what a Beautiful post. it warms my heart to hear you talk like that, and to know that someone is energized and empowered and made whole by examining their past. an enviable skill.
im Happy you took the time to do this for yourself, grrl. dont ever let your schoolwork get in the way of You.
i Love you.

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