Monday, April 26, 2010

For someone to read . . .


Today, I peeled real carrots. Full length, full sized carrots. Not the whittled down baby carrots that I buy more often than real carrots, because they're ready-to-go--no peeling necessary.

Real carrots taste better. There's a better balance between the flesh and the woodier carrot core. They're sweeter too.


Every once in a while, I get an email asking me to be a Facebook friend. I don't have a Facebook account. I hope that I never have a Facebook page.

I don't understand why people want to dig up connections to people they knew in first grade (although I do wonder what Rusty is up to; he once wore pajamas to school, underneath his regular clothes, and people made fun of him. I was intrigued by his pajama wearing) and fifth grade (although I thought I spotted one of the twin boys I got in trouble with for vegetating--vegetating meant we weren't on task. We were looking at his basketball book) and middle school (although it would be interesting to know if Sharla is still spunky--a snotty girl made fun of her for wearing the same sweat shirt twice in the same week, and Sharla said, "I have a washing machine, you know!") and high school (although I sometimes wonder what the artists I spent so many hours with are up to; artists are lovely people to hang around).

I think the point is that we have a past, we have a present, and we have a future, and they all need to be kept balanced. I think that perhaps the people in our world now are the ones that matter most. They're the ones we should be emailing and calling and visiting and thinking about.

I'm not saying that the past shouldn't ever intersect with the present. I'm just fond of serendipity of a non-Facebook sort.

A woman I grew up with was killed in a tragic auto-pedestrian accident. Her death moved my mind to the past. I remembered how she laughed, as a kid; it was a contagious, happy, I love the world laugh. I remembered hiking with her through the Uintas, and how she didn't bring any food with her, except for a potato, because it was her period and she didn't want to eat, but also--I'm guessing--because her mom didn't help her pack anything. I remembered her black shiny hair pulled into braids.

I visited the condolences pages, online, several times over several days' time, and one day I found a message from her third grade teacher. She was also my third grade teacher, and pretty much my favorite elementary school teacher. (Maybe my favorite teacher ever.) So I wrote to her. We reconnected via email. And maybe we'll have lunch, I don't know. (It's really strange to think that she isn't that much older than I am; she was right out of college when she taught me.)

I have a friend from college that I miss having a connection with. Every year, around her birthday, I send a card or something or other. Every once in a while, I wonder how she's doing or what she's up to, but that's as far as it ever goes. Maybe someday it will be more.

I sometimes hear about what people are posting on their Facebook pages. Usually what I hear disturbs me, darkens my spirits, makes me sad. (After all, it's those sorts of stories that get spread.) Do people really post about their relationships on Facebook? Should that be the place to announce that your marriage isn't working out so well or that your husband left you? Do people really talk about their struggles, inner-most needs and desires, and foibles in that forum? Should that public space be where we reveal things we wouldn't even dare speak out loud in a room full of friends?


The conversation went something like this.

They were watching a genealogy show where experts help trace a person's roots through DNA and records.

COREOPSIS: We don't have any exciting stories in our family history like that.
BARBRA: That's because they didn't write them down. They had them.

Even people who wrote in diaries or journals didn't write everything they felt or experienced; a lot of those people wrote knowing that someone in the future--their children, grandchildren--would read their words.

I've done the same thing myself when I've written in my journals. And I'm not saying it's the best way, but I think we should meditate on it. Perhaps, we should consider why we're willing to put everything about ourselves online for everyone we know well, once knew, might know in the future to see.

A little decorum, a little restraint would go a long way, I think.


I spent the week--literally--writing and revising my novel. It went both faster(in terms of writing new scenes) and slower (in terms of my progress through the entire manuscript) than I thought. Time's like that. It almost always surprises me.

It's like going on a road trip. The drive away from home always feels longer than the drive back home, maybe because on the way out we are so keen on getting away from all we know that we're impatient, but when we come home, we relish the familiar. It's an emotional shift.


I guess I have a lot going through my head right now. None of it is completely fleshed out or fully connected, but here it is. Online. For someone to read.