Saturday, April 30, 2011
We are all photographers. Our experiences are our frames; and our memories are the snapshots we save in them. Like old Polaroid’s, they are yellowed, blurred and taken out of context from some distant moment passed. As my fingers push and pull at the agglomeration in the drawer more obscurities reveal themselves. The collection captures me as I sift through its members; the meter and rhyme revealed with every sweep. It speaks to me in verse as I spy every item: a pipe cleaner, a poker chip, some pushpins, and a pebble; a bread tie, a bubble wand, and some bolts without nuts. With the legato of poetry it soothes – as my mind swims in the flood of memories it affords: an old photo, an old coupon, a new penny, and some gum; a lipstick, a glue stick, some Chap Stick, some Tums… I am confronted by its beauty – comforted by its song – taken by its reveal.
In the corners and creases there live glimpses of past holidays: a sequin from a Halloween costume long gone – pinned under a bobby pin from some wedding or prom. Stuck to the back wall is a dried up Peep – my father’s favorite for each Easter he lived; and a lead ornament hook with a Christmas tree bulb that I won’t find come December. There’s a plastic spoon and a plastic favor from a birthday in ’04, and a napkin from “their” wedding – now living happily divorced; a dried weed for Mommy that was meant to be flowers, and a portrait titled “Daddy” – that was drawn in an hour. These are some of my items, and some of my memories they carry…
My drawer is a living masterwork and encrypted in it are secrets to my memories. It is a Rosetta stone that decodes my past and offers a glimpse into my experiences; a cosmic magnet slowly gathering spicks and specks of my life, my experience, into its collection. But if this collection, this scattered representation of my life, can be read it can be read only by me. If art; pastiche. If feast; a cornucopia. If color; a prism. If anything; a mirror. Each who gazes into it sees what matters to them – as it matters to them. It is special in that way; that it is unique to every beholder and carefully considers its audience before it reveals any message – any secrets.
In your kitchen, tousled somewhere below the toaster and the Tupperware; nestled near the sink and the silverware; there is an unorthodox record of who you are and what you’ve become. Go draw it open, and like an oracle throwing bones, slowly caress its contents upon your countertop and listen to what it reveals. Don’t call it junk – don’t call it anything – let it call to you. Accept the memories it holds and you will no longer question the mystery behind its customary and almost-universal presence in your kitchen.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
One day a year ago, my wife was speaking with a friend. Her daughter was a gymnast. She shared one of her daughter’s routines during a meet on film with Meg. Our oldest, Alexa, saw it and mentioned it to Reese. That was the beginning. Soon Reese wanted to do what she saw on the video. We joined Zero Gravity Gymnastics because that’s where the older girl trained. Over the last year, Reese has fallen so deeply in love with gymnastics it is hard to imagine her not participating in this sport...