Thursday, December 12, 2013
I keep feeling like small tasks are urgent. I need to read a book immediately. Or I need to clean my apartment before I can do anything constructive. I need to find a better job, or figure out what big step I'm going to take next in life. I just turned 30. Time is running out. Or is it? Maybe I'm a late bloomer, and my fame and fulfillment are just around the bend. One thing I've been wanting to do lately is write more often. You know, just to get my thoughts out - to clear my mind. And one of the things I've wanted to write about, briefly, is my first memory. Well, it's not one specific memory, but my initial realization of a tangible reality. I remember where I lived when I was two years old. I didn't necessarily know it was Kaukauna, WI, but I knew about the friendly old man at the end of the block who entertained me with his parrot quite often. I knew the calming sensation of hanging out with my parents in our attic (though I somehow have no recollection of the lower floor(s)). I knew the girl across the street, Erica, and I remember the swing set behind her house, as well as the layout of the kitchen which one could enter from the back yard. There. Now that I've written down my first memories, they will forever be preserved. And during the years and decades since these preliminary memories, I have documented many more in writing. Maybe not enough, but a substantial amount. When I occasionally go back to peruse my journals, I am sometimes captivated and enthralled by the excavation of forgotten memories - memories I may never have revisited. Events buried by time and age and distraction. Do yourself a favor; next time you have a compelling experience, write an account of it. Or dictate it to an audio recording device (which I have also found helpful at times). Include as many details as possible. How did you feel? Who was with you? What did they say? What was the weather like? Describe the room, the mountain, the water, the sand. Explain the context, the relationships, the idiosyncrasies. Be a biographer, a historian, an omniscient fly on the wall. Maybe a decade from now, you'll stumble across this personal artifact. Maybe two decades. The enjoyment gained from reading it will easily be worth the trouble it took to write it.