Memory is an ephemeral thing. Recently I ran across a plain brown notebook. I had written across the front of it: Trip to Rome, March 2000. Seriously. Sixteen years ago. Of course I remember the trip. It was wonderful. Rome is one of my favorite cities in the world (not to name-drop, but it is). The first time I saw the Colosseum was through the smudged window of a bus many years before that 2000 trip. I put the notebook aside after glancing through it; I wanted to savor it later. I remembered the trip, the feelings, but not the details.
I tried to find that notebook to refer to while writing this blog. I couldn’t. It’s somewhere, and it will turn up, but what I did find were numerous other notebooks. Snippets of my life. Morning pages, poems, story ideas, other trips. Although many were not finished, were cast aside or interrupted, they each represent moments in time. My moments. Maybe when taken together they would represent a microcosm of who I am. I wonder if, a hundred years from now, if the notebooks survive, what some great-great-great would surmise about my life. Would it be of interest? Would these scribblings represent? Would they misunderstand? Understand?
What I know is, if we don’t write it down, and sometimes even if we do, so much is lost. There is a magic about life, about its colors, shapes, smells, sounds, emotions and experiences that defies words. Defies description. But when we read about it, sometimes, just sometimes, we live it again.
“The universe is full of magical things, patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.”
― Eden Phillpotts, English author and playwright or
-W.B. Yeats or