I’m toying with the idea of a memoir eventually, just for myself. Rather than scratch little memories in notebooks that will get lost, they’re going here.
In first grade my teacher sent home a note reporting that, rather than do my schoolwork, I sat all day playing with a pencil shaving. On paper, it sounded so odd, but I remember turning that shaving over and over in my hand, admiring it, watching it flake apart, and it didn’t feel odd to me. It was interesting, and felt important. I was a Weird Kid; it is only now that I realize how cool I actually was, how the quirk that let me have deep appreciation for the tiny grooves in a flake of wood – a quirk that got me picked on mercilessly and concerned the adults in my life – has not only remained in some form 20+ years later, but actually served me well as an artist paid to focus on detail.
There was other stuff that made me weird, too: long conversations with the salamanders I found under rocks, poetry scrawled on my legs that I covered with my dresscode-mandated knee socks, and – the worst – songs that I made up for classmates to make them like me (that never actually worked.) So embarrassing! And yet… I still talk to the dogs all day every day. There are scraps of poems in a document on my iPad (I’ve upgraded a bit from my shins and ankles.) I still invent songs, although I’ve learned not to sing them to anyone older than a toddler.
It is fascinating how much we can change, grow, and still be much the same.