Saturday, May 26, 2012

I have measured out my life with coffee spoons

The wonderful thing about rainy Saturday mornings is that you have an excuse to drink coffee. Iced coffee just does not have the cozy feeling of hot coffee. It is one of the sad facts of summer that you cannot be warm and cozy in the mornings with a mug of hot coffee.

On summer mornings, you wake up sweaty and gross and entirely out of sorts. You stagger up to the kitchen and are ready to growl at any moving thing that crosses your path until you get a tall tumbler of ice water, or a bowl or blueberries, or go out for a walk and get some fresh air, and please God, a gentle wind (I don't ask for much, just a small zephyr. Anything to get rid of this infernal heat.) on your face.

But thunderstorms on a Saturday morning in May mean crepes, large mugs of coffee and children watching cartoons on the telly. There's nothing more deliciously lazy than a rainy Saturday morning.

Rainy days in general lend themselves to pensive moods. As Melville writes, "As every one knows, meditation and water are wedded forever." Water takes us out of ourselves, mesmerizes us, wraps us under its spell. "Were Niagara but a cataract of sand, would you travel your thousand miles to see it?" he asks.
[A waterfall made of sand? Yeah, actually, that sounds pretty sweet. But point taken, Melville.]

So naturally, I behooved myself to my basement office/library/lair with my mug of coffee, and took it upon myself to organize/sort/re-arrange my old journals. Twenty-four of them. I got my first diary as a birthday present on my sixth birthday. And since then, I've been journaling ever since. It's a weird sensation, seeing a physical embodiment of all the thoughts and emotions since the age of six (although to be fair, nothing much of great import (or legibility) was really said until age 10-12ish) that at that time you felt were worth noting. It's a time capsule of sorts, I suppose. You get to hear from your 6th grade self or 10th grade self what she felt about all sorts of things; you hear what happened to her and what she did, and why she did it and what she thought about it.

Memory is one of those tricky things that can often get warped as we grow older, and evolved and shifts over time. Keeping all these old journals is a fact check for my memory. And they're just fun. They're profound when they least meant to be, and snapshots (often tending towards the melodramatic) mind of an adolescent girl.

 Prufrock measures his life in coffee spoons. I've measured my adolescence in brightly colored notebooks and cloth-bound commonplace books.

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