Sensing a Memory

There is a certain smell of plastic that reminds me of my childhood toys. Smelling it is pure nostalgia. The first poem I ever memorized was "El Dorado," by Edgar Allen Poe. It was one of my dad's favorites. I was 12, and I can still recite it. Suave hairspray, the cheapest kind in the pink bottles, reminds me of being 13 and in the throes of my first major crush. An unexpected whiff of Crush cologne is like a punch in the gut. I remember where I was when I first read "Labysheedy," and "Digging," and "What lips my lips have kissed..." I have eaten potato cheese soup at my grandma's every Christmas Eve for as long as I can remember; it tastes like Christmas now. The first word I remember actually reading, on my own, was "mountain." The first song I ever learned after starting voice lessons was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." When I hear it now, I am swimming in emotions, if only for a moment: gratitude for my mother for allowing the voice lessons, Mrs. Sullivan for providing them, tenderness for the little girl I was, humility at the gift I was given, and even after all these years, a genuine liking for the song. (These days I'm partial to the version Iz Kamakawiwo'ole sang.) Every so often, the sight of the mountains -- this place I call home -- takes my breath away. I can always tell when someone is smoking a Camel cigarette, and for a second, I desperately miss my old friend Tyler. I remember the first time I found the Big Dipper on my own. Leather reminds me of my dad, since he always smelled like his gun belt, Doublemint gum is my mom. I don't think I have ever borrowed a tissue from her that wasn't redolent with minty sweetness. I will never forget the first time I saw "The Kiss," by Klimt. The first John Denver song I learned all the words to is "Annie's Song;" it is still my favorite one to listen to, and to sing. I still have a copy of the first poem I ever wrote. The smell of wood fire is the smell of home.

There are other, more vague sensual experiences that prompt a memory. Although I can't really define them, I know them when they come. And I'm grateful, even for those that are hard to remember. They remind me of where I've been. Of who I am. And that I'm alive.


Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known. *

I have felt vaguely unsettled the last few days; mildly restless. As if I am standing outside a door; the door is locked, and I don't have a key. On the other side is something for me; I don't know what. Something good, perhaps? Something wonderful? Simply something new? I am waiting for the key to come to me. Then I can open the door.

I know learning to trust the universe means learning to trust the timetable the universe uses, and I know that life is a series of doorways; sometimes we are outside, sometimes we are passing through, and sometimes we have found ourselves on the other side of a door. I've been waiting at this door for a while. And on this particular porch, I've found peace. But now, waiting to actually open the door is something else entirely. It's slightly disquieting...

*Quote from Carl Sagan


My Kingdom for a Pensieve*

Oh, friends, there has been too much to blog. Nothing earth-shattering, but all of it new or different, and I have found it terribly difficult to filter it into something coherent. I have some posts in the works -- they almost make sense in my head -- but for now, a quick update (because I tell myself this is relevant...):

My sister and her kids were here in Utah for much of June. Sara is pregnant with a girl and due in November! I love being an auntie.

I joined a choir. It is an all-women Celtic group run by Anne-Marie Hildebrandt. You can check out some of the music here. It has been an adventure so far, and fun to sing again.

Two weeks ago, I was called as the Primary Secretary in my ward. I'm still reeling a bit from this.

I read the first two Hunger Games books, and loved them. Big recommendation.

I jotted some notes for a poem the other day. This is the first time I have done this in months.

There are more things a-swirl in my head right now, but they will have to wait.

*P.S. Extra points for those who get my ultra-nerdy reference!


I Write Like...

So, I saw this neat little tool come through my Google reader this morning, then two of my friends posted their results on their blogs, and then I tried it. Rookie got Jane Austen and Miss Melissa got Margaret Atwood. I keep getting Stephen King... I have not read one single thing by Stephen King. Nothing. (To be fair, I tried a poem and got Oscar Wilde, and a rant and got J.D. Salinger.)

I don't know how I feel about this...