grown ups are like that....

Sunday, August 30, 2009

windows

these are memories that i carry with me and that i will remember when i am old and tired. these are windows into my heart, my soul. thanks goes out to jen at sarah for asking.

1. the moon shines bright on the river where we swim, and the water glistens on our bare skin. we are just a year or two into college and we have traveled what seems like a world away from our homes to work for the summer under the hot southern sky. but when night comes we relax and and play and swim in the dark waters of the James.

2. lawrence welk conducts a waltz on the television as i sit next to my grandma, my hand in hers. her skin feels like tissue and she smells of chantilly lace. i age a bit this hot midwestern evening because i know it won't be like this forever.

3. my kindergarten year is hard on me, being shy and small, and a bit young. but to my surprise i win a little plastic giraffe in class one day. it is multi-colored but also transparent, and the effect is one of rainbowed oil on water: shimmery and changing. it slips behind my mattress and i can just barely see it. i am reaching, reaching under my bed and yet i cannot grasp the little toy.

4. my boyfriend paces back and forth while talking on the phone with someone from my home. why won't he give me that damn receiver already? suddenly, i know: a death announcement waits on the other end of the line and i fight the urge to flee into the breezy december night. instead i clutch the arm of the couch and wait.

5. my son is barely two months old and i decide we need an outing to the mall. my daughter, three, behaves well and because of this i decide to buy her a burger king lunch. i look at her with her paper crown askew eating french fries while watching a trapped bird flit around the ceiling of the food court. for some reason my heart floods with a fierce love mixed with a sort of grief that overwhelms me. she is growing too fast. she will be gone in the flash of an eye.

6. about a dozen red deer raise their heads as i run by. behind them a snow capped mountain peak juts unexpectedly into the warm and cloudless morning. i look at them and know that i am the only one to see this. i am the only one here to witness a moment so lovely yet so fleeting and i am excited to know that i alone will have this picture in my mind forever. no one else will share this serene irish image, and i am fine with that. this is all mine. all mine.

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and you, dear reader, do you have a a memory, a window, you'd like to share? leave your reply here in the comments or if you write your own post let me know and i will post a link to your story here. make sure you link back to jen, sarah, and myself.

15 comments:

InTheFastLane said...

love these windows. I love that each window is such a small speck of time and just a little piece of you, but it says so much.

I commented one of my own on Slouchy's post. But, I think it is one I will be expanding into its own post soon.

Aliki2006 said...

I loved these.

I have too many memories, and am feeling too emotional to tap into any of them at this moment. But I will, I promise.

CraffingOutLoud said...

This is beautiful writing, Christine. I had to go back and read each window again, more slowly the second time to really savor your words.

I would write a window of my own, but honestly, I am too caught up in the vivid snapshots of your memories to think of my own right now. That's powerful stuff!

slouchy said...

these are lovely, christine. really lovely and moving.

Jamie Lucero said...

the window into my memory:

It was a warm July night. My parents did not want to take me to the fireworks shows so I stood in the darkness of the backyard straining to see a firework somewhere in the night sky. Late that night I gave up and went to bed. What seemed like moments later my mom came into my room and told me I had to get up. I was so confused - I knew it was the middle of the night - why on earth would my mom be waking me at that time? I came down the stairs, still half asleep. And the next thing I remember hearing is my dads voice in the other room. He was crying. And I will never forget the words I heard him say, "I just want someone to miss my mom."

Jennifer Hooper-Barnett said...

Just simply beautiful!

There are not too many window to my past worth remembering. But one I hold dear is a rainy day sitting in the living room of your house in New York. The rain was coming down and the kids had toys scattered everywhere. We sat on the floor playing with the little ones, TJ was on the couch asking a million questions about me when I was teenager. A sense of overwhelming happiness and joy filled me as the conversation flowed and laughter filled the room. It was as if that pocket of time was designed just for us.

Rita Huffer said...

Wow, Christine. Your words give the ordinary a beautiful touch!

painted maypole said...

beautiful.

de said...

the more of these I read, the harder it seems to be to come up with mine.

Rachel said...

Wow! Such vivid, beautiful memories! I loved the one in the mall, I've watched Robyn wear that hat. Here are two that sprang to mind;

Just tonight, I stood by the crib, after laying a sleepy Syvlie down. Her lids were heavy and her smile was big and lazy and she wiggled into a comfortable spot saying, "Night, Night" over and over. It physically hurt to leave her room, feeling like I would have to hand her the keys to the car in the morning.

I am sitting in a magical place. I am probably in third grade, and there is a friend scrunched in beside me. We have a secret, we still play with Barbies. Mom drapes the table with the fancy lace tablecloth and we crawl under. Each chair seat is a different room in the Barbie house, and endless adventures happened under there. I miss the thrill of anticipation, gathering up those shoes and outfits and waiting for my friend to get there.

thecheekofgod said...

Memories. I've got a billion of 'em . . .

The way my son looked at me when I lost my cool and said some things I can never take back. The hurt was a physical thing, a beast between us that, despite years and good times, may never be slain.

And good ones, too.

Just wanted to swing by and thank you for your kind words at Flutter's. And to thank you for this post. I'll be around . . .

thecheekofgod said...

Hey there,

I have been trying to get in touch with you via email, but I keep getting rejected. Story of my life . . .

Maybe I'll try sending it with another address . . .

thecheekofgod said...

Nope. I tried my Verizon email and my Gmail, and it keeps getting rejected by your server.

Oh well . . .

Just wanted to thank you again for visiting The Cheek. You are NOT a dork. A nerd, maybe. But not a dork . . .

flutter said...

what a beautiful soul you have

Emily said...

Oh, I loved this, Chrisitine! I wanted to peer even further into each window, for the whole story to come into focus. These might be the first few chapters of your book of essays...