Monday, December 7, 2009

a tender history in rust

discussing with our comrades on baby island. note the inverted colors of my sister's and my overalls.

I think that I have a particularly selective memory, where I can remember most of my life starting at about age 4 in a kind of overview type way, but with inserts of photographs and videos. The photographs and videos are of days and events that I can remember as vividly as though they happened yesterday. I try to think about them a lot, because I don't ever want them to fade. Some do fade, though, like grains of sand that you try to hold onto but end up slipping through your fingers anyway.

One of the characteristics that most of my memories have in common is the fact that they involve me becoming fascinated by something- like the butterfly hatching kit my parents got my older sister and I when we were little. I was really doubtful that a butterfly would actually come out of what looked like a piece of foam attached to a stick. It did though, and I was so obsessed with the butterfly that I kept trying to snatch it out of the kit until my mom moved it.

I still remember some of the books that my parents used to read to us before we went to bed. My favorites were about kids taking things into their own hands and having adventures. And anything involving fairies or mermaids. There was one book that my mom always used to read to us called 'Roxaboxen.' It was about a town that a bunch of kids made out of rocks and pieces of seaglass. We were so obsessed with it that our mom helped us make our own Roxaboxen in the empty dirt next to our garage. Our slightly deranged former neighbor then put up a sign on the empty dirt that said 'No Trespassing.' There would be NO fun had on HER empty dirt. This made Roxaboxen even better because we had a real live villian like they did in the book.

In second grade, my friend and I extensively planned a trip in which we would make a car by attaching a motor to a wagon, and drive to Mexico. We picked a date and everything, but then got intimidated by the fact that they might not let us cross the border. We thought that we could maybe settle for driving back to Girl Scout camp and living in the fort we made out of sticks in the forest.

I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around — nobody big, I mean — except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be. I know it's crazy.
-Holden Caulfield

In 4th grade my teacher always read to us after lunch. My favorite by far was 'The 21 Balloons.' I remember that one day I started choking on a piece of hard candy while she was reading it. It was still my favorite, though. The best part was when William Waterman Sherman made a balloon house so he could live in it while he floated around the world. I remember asking several people if they thought that I could do that.
"Arguably, no artist grows up: if he sheds the perceptions of childhood, he ceases being an artist." -Ned Rorem

I also remember getting really excited about products that had logos where inanimate objects had faces. I would always giggle at the little smiling glove on Hamburger Helper and the Pillsbury Doughboy. I feel like I was continually really content by stringing together the happiness that little oddities gave me. I hope I don't lose that. I love when inanimate objects have faces.
We really liked Little Nemo even though it was a little bit scary. I loved when the magical blimp came to his house to pick him up. I think it was after watching this movie that I was absolutely positive that I saw a line of fairies walking on the grass next to my house. Then they went into a little burrow in the ground and I didn't see them again, even though I dug about a foot into the ground there the next day looking. I think there was something about kids floating away that really intrigued me, because my favorite book was 'James and the Giant Peach.' I read that book like 10 times, and I did every report possible on Roald Dahl throughout the entirety of grade school.

I was really easily scared, and I remember that my dad would always turn down the song 'I am the Walrus' after the line 'yellow matter custard' because I told him that the next line would give me a nightmare.
My favorite picture from one of our favorite books. I also loved the picture where the mountain of snow was actually mashed potatoes. I would be a very happy camper if weather was actually like this, I don't care about the problems that occurred in the book. It would be totally worth it to have school closed because a pancake fell on it.

I was talking to a friend of mine once about something that happened on the 4th of July when we were little kids. Then we started talking about how we used to go camping every year, and how much we missed it. He said that the fact that memories get better as they get older makes up for not being able to go back. I don't know if that's true, but I like the thought.

looking beyond the embers of bridges glowing behind us
to a glimpse of how green it was on the other side
steps taken forwards but sleepwalking back again
dragged by the force of some inner tide

at a higher altitude with flag unfurled
we reached the dizzy heights of that dreamed of world

encumbered forever by desire and ambition
there's a hunger still unsatisfied
our weary eyes still stray to the horizon
though down this road we've been so many times

the grass was greener
the light was brighter
the taste was sweeter
the nights of wonder
with friends surrounded
the dawn mist glowing
the water flowing
the endless river

.forever and ever.
pink floyd

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