Wednesday, December 29, 2010

reminders .

Today I'd like to talk about those things that we all have lying around -- those things that remind us of a very specific person, those photos enriched with memory, those that make you laugh and smile at the thought of the person, and those that unearth heartbreak and loss. In particular I'm talking about relationship keepsakes. I just felt like talking about them generally, and then maybe going into some more specifics. [I'm also going to include pictures and video if it works of the snow that we had here in Jersey!]

All right, first of all I'd like to point out that this isn't simply going to be a trip down Greg's memory lane. Let's be honest, that journey might get long and exhausting, despite the fact that you can pick out imaginary characters and shapes from the dust clouds that your feet kick up along the way, and that you wonder where the heck you are, because clearly you are in the middle of nowhere where your cell phone doesn't work and-- have I taken this too far? Yes? Alright I'll just leave it be then.

I think everyone can agree that pictures serve as a great tool for memories. I really do agree with the statement that a picture says a thousand words. It can bring back almost any sort of emotion from the scene from which it was taken, and it begins to fill your mind with a screenplay from the event; like a still photo taken from a storyboard or a film itself, where the plot is written around it in entirety, and the playwright is spoken in the grandiloquent narrative voice of Don LaFontaine. And as much as pictures do bring back some amazing memories for me, I am certainly not in the least one of those people who constantly takes photos to preserve the memories of my everyday life for future me. Heck, I don't even have a facebook anymore to put up all those photos for the rest of the world to stalk -- I mean, sift through with interest.

In all seriousness, some of the simplest most trivial things have become some of the most important for me, in the same way that one man's trash is another man's treasure. [side note: I've found that twitter is often over capacity between the hours of 1 and 3am ET.... must be because all of the Chinese people are awake across the big lake...] Something as small and as simple as little bracelet, or a movie ticket stub, can mean so much, given the right context.

I dated a girl once, and assuming and hoping that we would make it a long ways together, saved something from each date that we had, and made a note of every date we had; what we did, where we went. I kept movie ticket stubs, receipts, had a few pictures here and there. The eventual goal and plan was that on our one year anniversary, I would compile all of these things into a sort of scrapbook of us -- something to be treasured for years to come.

We never made it that far. But, it sure would have been cool if we had, and I had gotten to create that gift. I love making personal gifts -- they just have so much more meaning. It's no secret girls like chocolate and jewelry. Maybe some flowers too. But something made from the heart -- it just means so much more. I've written poems, recorded songs, tried to keep it unique, and special for that person.

Recording music brings me to my next point -- every person I've dated, I've had a song that we kindof adopted as "ours." And I could tell you what those songs were for each one. And every time I hear one of them, I immediately receive an abridged flashback of all the times we had together, but unfortunately you always remember the breakup too. It's tough -- because of the way that person made you feel inside, made your heart leap, and your stomach fill with butterflies. The way you couldn't stop smiling when you looked at them, and the way just hearing their voice could make your day.

I like to hold on to that kind of stuff. Whether it ended really badly or not, it was a part of my life. Because with each relationship you learn some things; things about yourself, and things about what works and what doesn't. I see myself as a work in progress. In a way it's like a song, where the artist is never really 100% satisfied. It doesn't matter how much you mix the music, or in what way you switch around the words; there's just always something that is a little bit off about it, and no matter what you do, you can't fix it entirely. Every experience in my life is something that will help in the improvement of myself -- whether that be in core values, or just general behaviors, manners, it can be anything. As long as I learned something, well, then the relationship was worth it, right? If only life were always that easy.

Sometimes the memories are places. I know one girl where all I have to see is her town and I think of her. And then it seems to be that every time you think you're finally over them, and you're moving on, that little reminder pops up [a certain apartmate knows exactly what I'm talking about] and bam you're right back where you started. It's almost like the man upstairs is sending you a sign. But sometimes I don't know what direction to follow. Life is certainly full of mysteries.

Other times the keepsakes are physical -- I have a notebook filled with lyrics I used to write with someone. I have affirmations from retreats. I have handmade cards, and little sticky notes. Those things are near and dear to my heart, despite the fact that in any other person's eyes they are simply paper splashed with ink, the scribbles and lines have suddenly become a mural in my eyes; the colors dance and swirl, and as it vortically takes you back to a daydream where everything is perfect again, you can't help but wonder what would've happen had you taken a different path back at that point.

The reminders of people are everywhere; I even mentioned the sailboats making me think of my grandfather in yesterday's blog. It's those little things, that really make life worth living. Those one of a kind experiences, the forming of relationships (and not just bf/gf ones either). The way one door closing yields another door opening. The passing between thresholds, and the exploration through the pages of one's life. I love it, and can't wait to see how the rest will turn out.

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As promised, pictures and video below!

well shit. havin major problems with video. i'll try it in a new post.

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