Is six years long enough to wait? They say it takes half the time of a relationship to get over it, and yet like most things we overestimate our ability to understand and process, and perhaps it is more honest to say it takes as long as the relationship itself. I’ve often thought the luxury of having left instead of being left is that I don’t regret you nearly as much as you must regret me. I am allowed to remember what I like, to pick through my memories without bitterness, and when I do I choose to think of the youthful adolescents we were when we made the most sense. Perhaps our entire relationship was like the final scene of The Graduate. Married, escaping eagerly toward a new life, Benjamin and Elaine look at each other while doubt creeps into their eyes, and a partner in crime begins to look more and more like a stranger.
September 17th, 2014 § 0 comments
It’s been eight years since you died and I’m thirty: the Lissy you knew would have found these things unimaginable. Over drinks at a lovely rooftop bar this summer, basking in warm sunlight, I spoke of you to a good friend and ruefully smiled as I looked on bright side. “At least I don’t have to wait for my soul mate,” I said, “he died years ago.” The older I get and the more we grow up, the more I wonder who you really were. We never got a chance to find out, and I wonder constantly who you’d be now, what you’d say about the world, what kind of opinions you’d have and what you’d think of mine.
June 30th, 2014 § 0 comments
For something I dismissed, I remember it vividly. I came to dwell on it months, even years later when I realized with shocking dismay how pivotal my memory of that moment had been. It’s not too often in life that you know beyond doubt that nothing will ever be the same, that you yourself will never be as you were. We realize it later, when the future has unfolded and we can pinpoint in hindsight the moment when “everything” changed. Even so, memories are fickle and so malleable to our own desires that I’m not completely convinced of this one.
I remember that I wanted that moment to be like the scene from Almost Famous, when Zooey Deschanel’s character leaves home. The film came out in theaters when I was sixteen, two years before I moved to Chicago for college, and it made an impression. The soundtrack, the coming of age story, even if it was about a boy, resonated, and the film perfectly captured what it feels like to wait for your life to happen. I was a teenager always on the edge of my seat, hoping to force the future into existence through my own desire for it. I wish I could tell myself then to be patient, and that life, brutal and unexpected, would come.
December 9th, 2013 § 0 comments
At a recent gallery opening a friend and I were discussing our impending entry into aunthood as both our brother’s wives are pregnant this winter, and I exclaimed half joking, “it’s a lot of pressure!” Obviously being an aunt is like being a babysitter compared to the pressures and weight of motherhood, and yet what lead me to the thought is how much I remember of my own aunts. My mom is the middle of three sisters, and while my aunts weren’t around as much as I hope to be for my already adored niece, I still have vivid memories of them reaching back as far as I can remember. Though they didn’t loom as large in my life as my grandfather or great grandmother, who together filled the void of having one grandpa and no grandmothers, my sporadic memories of them range from the silly to the profound. Anyone you remember like that, who is a permanent if inconsistent fixture throughout your life, has played a role in shaping who you are, and the idea of being the shaper rather than the shaped is a daunting one. Thinking about what my niece might remember about me made me rethink what I remember of them.