Closer Than A Memory: Streams of Consciousness

Sometimes my memory will have a mini earthquake and drawers will spill out, old handkerchiefs waft to the ground, and certain things that are soulfully embedded come to life. 

Closer than a memory. It is so inherently apart of you that you don’t remember, unless the experience is recalled in a moment of contrast. 

Oh you didn’t do that when you were younger? Oh you didn’t think those things when you were younger? Oh you didn’t believe those things when you were younger?

Childhood always feels like a safe period of time to remember who you are since the norms, acute consciousness, and pressures of the world were not as palpable as they are now. I infrequently put on a play of my past self and try to embody those memories that are weighty and exquisite. 

I have reliably forgotten that I play the piano or that it is a source of deep company and life for me. Until I started grad school, I’d consistently neglect my love for the piano when others asked about me. It never ceased to surprise me afterwards. How do I leave out something so sacred? 

Maybe because it is so sacred, close, and above or beyond validation from the world that I don’t need to employ it as a means to secure myself…

I have bouts of listening to Fiona Apple, whether it is live or recorded. I saw a video of her when she was composing her first song as a kid. It reminded me of my first song, entitled “Love”. C major chords, with zealous belief and incessant practicing. 

I was in 3rd grade.

While in fourth grade I befriended a girl by the name of Danelle who also loved music, especially the piano. I decided we would write songs together.  I remember taking it so seriously. Any moment in class or after class I would be scribbling down lyrics, since I was the main writer for our duo. I had deadlines for those compositions too. To whom? Eh. Myself. God. 

In sixth grade Mr. Bosman discovered I was writing songs. He asked if he could help me with composing them on the guitar. Of course, I was a one man show in a new school with Dutch Christian kids all caught up in material things. The following summer I gave myself a goal to write a 100 songs. At the beach or late into the night I was writing, writing, writing. I had a goal. 

The zest for creating is really sweet to access. I’m sitting here wondering how to welcome those parts of me back. Consequently, how to access those parts in others as well. 

A few weeks ago Jay read “A Bridge to Terabithia” aloud to me. It was a childhood book that ruined me for a few weeks. I remember sitting on my royal blue velvet couch, entranced by their lives and aching to have their story as my own. It was incredibly refreshing to re-read that story and then to have both Jay and I in tears afterwards was…

Closer than a memory. Sometimes those mini earthquakes are really needed.


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