“I thought, This will be a comfort. It will remind me of my friends and I’ll be able to make some connection between the past and the present.”
-Wendy Wasserstein, Uncommon Women and Others
In some ways, I feel like the same person I’ve always been. I’m not quite thirty (not yet!), but in other ways, those past selves seem far away.
I remember being in India. I remember the cave in Cave Rock, a dark gap that was actually a tunnel that we could crawl through, sliding our hands through the dust. I remember another rock on top of the hill, like a stone boat on top of a stone wave, with overhung sides tall enough that I could only climb up with someone’s help. And by making a pile of rocks to use as a step ladder, I think. I’m not sure. I remember the faces–the friends, and I think they are still friends, though I haven’t talked to them in years. That would have been in early 2012. The memory fades.
I remember playing with legos on the floor in my room. I remember shapes I used to make–if you start with only the square pieces, and connect them diagonally to each other, using only two opposite corners, you can make a solid surface that bends back and forth. You can make a circular tower. I remember the pattern, and the feel of it in my hand. At least, I remember remembering.
I remember the sprig of ivy that found its way through our wall in Santa Rosa, California, like one of Bacchus’ mischievous smiles, there in our living room.
I remember a very, very tall tree–the picture in my mind looks a bit like an oak–in Windsor, California. A firetruck came. Someone’s parakeet had landed in the top of the tree and wouldn’t come down. I’m not sure how much of that image I’ve constructed since then, while hearing someone else tell the story.
I remember a person who climbed rocks, and a boy who built legos, and a child who stood, watching the tree.
Do I string myself onto one line, like beads on a necklace, and call that me? What about when the beads seem to catch the light in different ways? What about when they roll apart? When you look back, are you one person, living through time–or are you solid surface built from many pieces, bending back and forth, or birds landing and flying from a tree? Are you a tall hill, with children climbing around you? What do you do with your present and all your pasts?