Friday, November 27, 2009

Remembering the Present

I have this odd holiday ritual. At some point during the day, I slip away from the festivities, find a quiet place, then close my eyes and try to take in every single detail of the celebration: The people. The voices. The laughter. The music. The food (I pay special attention to the food). Who and where my friends are. The clothes I’m wearing. What my hair looks like (even if it’s a bad hair day). The weather. The conversations. Everything.

Of course, I take in all those joyful moments, but if there are times of stress, I think about that too. Good or bad. Ordinary or remarkable. Whatever is happening during the day, I let it sink inside me.

This year, I noted that seemingly arbitrary sentences caused my older brother to break out in song, that my sister’s homemade gluten-free pizza is getting better and better, that my niece seems like she’s at a great place in her life and that those super cute shoes I found in the back of my closet were way too tight (btw, there’s always a very good reason why you stopped wearing shoes stored in the back of your closet. It’s best not to put them on ever again.)

I’m not sure how this started, but I’ve been doing it ever since I was a child. I wonder if it came from a book I read. Some of my best ideas came from those middle grade books.

After I’m convinced that I’ve taken in every detail, I tell myself to remember. Then I imagine all those holiday images wrapped up and stored somewhere in my mind. I hope I’ll be able to retrieve them in the future. After all, you never know when you’ll need a memory.

(The shrimp in the picture was cooked by my younger brother for one of our holiday celebrations and is definitely worth remembering)


S A Putnam said...

I tend to do the same thing but just not indoors as most of my writing centers around I'm outside on the deck listening to the birds tweet, squirrels chatter and crickets chirping, along with the leaves of the trees fluttering and the slapping of beaver's tails on the pond.

nanmarino said...

I have a friend who has a theory that your deepest memories take place outside. Not sure if I agree or disagree with that yet.

Stephanie J. Blake said...

Thanks for reminding me to stop and smell the...shrimp!

nanmarino said...

Hehehe Thanks for stopping by, Stephanie.