Purple_Kangaroo just left me a nice comment on an old post (thanks, PK!), old enough that I had to go back and re-read it because I had no memory of what it was about, and in the process of looking for it I glanced over all the posts from that month (March 2005). And that made me realize, goddamn, this blog used to be a lot better. I don't know if it's fall, which always makes me a bit fuzzy, or a phase of mild depression, or just the usual mid-semester weariness, but I haven't had thoughts that clear and interesting for some time.
But I shall carry on, and perhaps the Fun Witty Pilgrim will eventually come back out from her hiding place in the dark corners of my head.
jo(e) asked me about my earliest memory, which is interesting because I have very, very few memories of my childhood, up until about the age of twelve. Nothing traumatic; it's just that I was the youngest of six children, and my mother was tired of having kids, and both of us were eager for me to get through the whole childhood business as quickly as possible so we could get on with our lives.
But my father and I had some very close moments, and one of those I remember vividly. It was fall, cool enough that I was wearing the fuzzy purple coat that I loved, and we were walking through the leaves in Centennial Park. I was four or five years old, and there was something I was worried about - perhaps the first day of school, or some new event I wasn't sure how to handle. I was trying to explain to my father how I felt, but I didn't have the right words. I wasn't afraid, really, because it wasn't a scary thing; I wasn't nervous, because I was pretty sure I could handle whatever it was; I just had a vague sense of unease at the unfamiliar situation coming up.
My father listened to my attempts to describe this feeling, and then he smiled and looked at me and said very carefully, "You are apprehensive!" And oh, the wonder of having the word that captured exactly that feeling. I sounded it out - app-re-hen-sive. Yes! That's what I was. Ideas have colors and shapes in my head, and words are like the boxes we use to convey them to other people; the goal is to find a box of the right shape and size so that it won't distort the fragile idea that it carries. I love finding the right box, and I love that my earliest memory is of my father helping me find one.