I’ve been on a huge memories kick lately.
I suppose it can’t be helped. When you clean out closets, the past surfaces with each opened box. I have so been enjoying everyone’s comments on my previous blog, as well as the wonderful spectrum of responses to throwing away my journals.
Maybe part of why I didn’t worry about tossing them, was that I believe firmly that memories and our life stories don’t just live in our journals. While I had thrown out pages of recollections, I am still surrounded by them. Just last night, as I was sautéing dinner in my favorite pan, I was reminded of this fact. When I first graduated from college, I moved to LA to become, you guessed it, an actress. Not knowing anyone, I wandered around the wonderful Venice neighborhood looking for an apartment to rent and came across a small studio behind the house of a music producer (he assured me he had Linda Ronstadt waiting upstairs while we were talking–who knows if he did, but I like to think so). It was a charming place, affordable, steps from the beach. There was only one little catch. The previous tenant had gone out one day and never come back. This was two months before I’d arrived. When I stepped into the apartment, I discovered the landlord wasn’t kidding. Everything was right where it had been left. Down to the washcloth draped over the sink, the dirty socks scattered on the bedroom floor.
“You can move in, if you clean it out,” the landlord told me.
And so I did, carefully loading a stranger’s life into garbage bags that would be stored in the basement. When it came time to empty the kitchen, I recognized a high-quality pan among the collection and asked if I could use it. My landlord shrugged. “Sure you wouldn’t rather have the TV?” he asked.
“No,” I said. “The pan’s good.”
Twenty years, fourteen apartments, six states later, that pan remains the king of my collection.
And to this day, I think on all of that each and every time I set it down on the stove, which I do almost daily. I think on how I came to have it, I think on the stranger who used it before me and wonder whatever became of him or all the bags of his life in that music producer’s basement. I think on my tiny apartment on the boardwalk, and my year of wonder and adventure in California.
I think. I remember.
So what about you all? Where are YOUR memories hiding?