Monday, August 29, 2005

My writing student came to work again today. She is so close to finishing the rather large press archive project she started that I have been practically begging her to squeeze in time to volunteer even as she is getting ready for school to begin.

This morning, as we were talking, I referenced a street that I had forgotten to take. I called it by the wrong name. As we were driving home, I saw the sign for that same street and pointed out my mistake. She asked me how in the world I remembered something like that from this morning.

The answer is quite easy: I made a mistake.

I remember my mistakes. I remember the times I misspeak, misspell, misact, misunderstand.

I remember the times I am wrong. I remember the times I am an embarrassment. I remember the times I am a disappointment.

As I grew up, those times were remembered for me by my family. What fun it was to bring up those times in company or around family gatherings over and over and over again. I would be accused of being too sensitive when I became upset, but none of their memories were of good things. No successes. No praises. No celebrations. All times when I was wrong in speech, action, or understanding were what they related about me to others. And to this day, among my family, my wrongs are still pointed out. My mother will find the negative in anything that I share with her. Oh, I hope you didn't... You should have... You know you you have to be careful... Ever helpful advice that is carved on my heart with a clumsy knife.

So it is really no wonder that I remembered.

Although...perhaps I should say that I remember the words and the feelings of those moments. I cannot close my eyes and see a vision of those memories. I do not relive them in sight and smell, but I do in sound and feeling. I can repeat those words, oft verbatim, for examination and recrimination.

Funny, I found the answer to her question so easy, so obvious.

But...perhaps...that the answer is so obvious is key to that which I do not understand about myself, but that which I long to change about who I am. While I fervently hope, and am fairly confident, that I do not remember only the negative about others, I am confronted with the reality that, in so quickly answering her question, I do so about myself. Perhaps if that were not so easy, so automatic, so very ingrained in my being, I would…


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