It’s early on a Friday evening and I just put the baby down. In the past my night might have been just beginning. I came across a friend’s tumblr page in the dark of the bedroom (aptly named Time Bomb Baby) and was catapulted into memories of the past. This year marks my twenty ninth rotation around the sun, and I am suddenly nostalgic. A decade of wild memories, sweet memories, hard memories, green and rough and candlelit memories. Suddenly this last decade – it ends in six months, has a soundtrack and a photo album and feelings and salty tears and the memory of freedom.
“At fifteen you had the radiance of early morning, at twenty you will begin to have the melancholy brilliance of the moon.” – Fitzgerald
What do I do with these whispers, these achingly beautiful memories? They open up like reverse origami in my consciousness and I wonder where on earth they get tucked away all these days. I particularly remember a time when I found myself torn between two gentlemen, one older, grounded, steady and calm, the other effervescent, ebullient, romantic, a bit crazy (the best kind of crazy) steeped in French culture, literature, cinema. I remember the milkshakes and the cake on the balcony and the bare feet and the hearts breaking in Cape May and the denim shorts and furious writing, writing, writing.
I remember the arriving in Australia and arriving in New York and leaving Los Angeles. I remember the arguments and the hidden truths and the hats. Oh, the hats. And the rolled cigarettes. The way we could stop everything and just sit outside, our muse the moon, and smoke. The space I had in my mind then to think about scenes we had just written, and stories we were moulding. I am recognizing now a part of myself I had shelved as I entered this process of becoming mama. I am recognizing a true part of my self. I saw it wave at me when I drove past Sony Studios near our new home two days ago. I saw it on the side of a passenger van waiting there printed with the characters of a film I enjoyed, reminding me of my storytelling love. Me.
“There is no reality in the absence of observation.” – The Copenhagen Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics
It is me I’m remembering, me I am missing. I see reflections of myself in the most intriguing places. It is comforting to find oneself again. I don’t want to stop writing. I don’t want to stop putting down these thoughts and feelings and memories and the mysteries I adore. I thought I might drop this ‘pastime’ for a while, see what happened. And I’m realizing that this is my breath. This is breathing for me. An optometrist asked me recently if I had a family history of glaucoma. Apparently my optic nerve is deeper than normal. If it gets any deeper, I may one day go blind. That woke me up. I realize that if I did ever go blind, I would want to have someone read to me my life’s work, these words that try to get at something I have lived.
So, this is where I am. Behind the memories of the last few years are the memories of the years before them and the years before them, as if it were a bookshelf of old tomes I’d forgotten to look at. Dusty. But full. You open a wormhole and the floodgates unfold. Stay with me words. I don’t know who reads this blog; I lost my Google Analytics account years ago, and part of me doesn’t want to know. Some things I don’t want to do for the sake of branding or business or social media. I just want to write. I just want to feel what it feels like when I let it pour out like this. In the leafy night, in the nebula of nostalgia, unfurling through my fingers from these hallways, these milk white moonlit roads, they lead me back to myself. And I am happy for it. These words are me. This is my breath. This is life. This is me.
“No matter what, nobody can take away the dances you’ve already had.” – Gabriel Garcia Márquez