mad in pursuit memoir notebook
DISPATCHED FROM THE intersection of yesterday and forever
I couldn't sleep last night. Trish finally sent the letters I wrote her when I was in my twenties close to 40 of them. In a rush of organization I sorted them chronologically, reading as I went. Like a diary, they were all very in the moment, rarely very interesting. But by the time I finished I had been seriously "in the moment" for the first 3 years of my marriage and the 2 years of grad school. It all added up to something but what? The one thing I knew for sure as I fell into bed was how happy I am now to be married to Jim and to have him slip into bed beside me.
I fell asleep, only to wake up an hour later, my mind seething with visions of my cramped handwriting on lined looseleaf and jumbled sensations of myself as a young woman. Neurons half dead for 25 years had snapped violently back to life.
I got up, drank some chocolate milk, and fooled around for awhile. Wrote an e-mail note to Trish saying that I was glad to be 51.
Here it is Tuesday after work and I'm still sifting through the mental jumble to arrive at a conclusion on who I was in the 1970's. The full notebook of letters is lying open on the floor next to me. Her letters and mine all 3-hole punched and intermingled again in dialogue. Part of me wants to launch into the re-read, now looking at my letters and hers in turn, trying to pull out themes and reflect on context. (What was the world like in 1972? "It was the decade that changed everything," goes a trailer for an upcoming TV show.)
But I'm pausing. What is my first overall reaction now that 24 hours have passed?
First take: I drifted along, without much passion for anything. Small pleasures. Little excitement.