There is a delicious macro micro quality to memories.
The macro being the grand times, the dynamic happenings, the oh my god remember that time when I…
(flew to england for the weekend to go to a party…loaded six friends and four dogs into my van and drove down the coast on a roadtrip…decided to go, prepared for and went to burning man, three days before the gates opened…helped throw an amazing party on a westcoast beach every july for 11 years…spent a month cruising around costa rica with my sister and no plan whatsoever…decided to go live in paris with $1000 and a one way ticket…)
The micro being the myriad memories that I carry as a result of those epic adventures as well as the moments that might not seem as impressive but are just as important to the narrative that is the story of me that come and go, delightful details to enhance existence.
(the way gardenias remind me of that sunday night in Paris…the opening clarinet of Rhapsody in Blue…the taste of warmth on fresh strawberries that have been picked in the sun…the hue of summertime barefoot dirt brown that looks best on my feet…how it feels to hear rain on the roof…to smell pavement after a dry spell…to stumble into a field of butterflies and flowers…to be overwhelmed by stars and frogsong at night)
A moment, defined as a past instant (we had our..), a present(at the..), a future effect (it would be the defining…), can be insignificant or pivotal.
It’s how we process those times that make the difference. There could be life changing instants that are never noted. And moderately trifling happenings that are imbued with import to the point that they gain a foothold within historical context that may or may not be deserved. But that’s merely a matter of perspective.
For me, I’ve discovered that manoeuvering through life is like learning a new language. I tend to put an emphasis on vocabulary, the basics. The building blocks of communication. Verbs and nouns are damn exciting. All those people and places and things to have adventurous action words with, at, on, near..did I mention with and on? And then there are adverbs and adjectives because the adventures are only as good as my ability to recall and remind myself of how they felt, looked, smelled, tasted, sounded. Sensations made sensate, as it were.
These are snapshots. A life lived in moments made momentous by design. They are the pictures on social media, the status updates that have been edited for content, but not context, necessarily.
Because they contain no glue.
I discovered when I was living elsewhere (okay, France) and trying to learn the language (because, communication) I put so much emphasis on the vocabulary so that I could relate my adventures, describe my existence, share the snapshots of my world with friends, new and old, that I forgot about the inbetweens.
The. At. An. This. That. Some. Many. Maybe. Here. Over there. Down. Up. Then. Now. At least. None.
Now, that’s not to say I didn’t learn these words eventually, but they were not the words that were first on my list of things I should know how to say. I went for verbs and nouns! I went for actions and things! I knew how to say I saw something, but without the knowledge of the seemingly insignificant words I took for granted in my own language, my communication was less than coherent. My sentences disjointed and nonsensical.
I think it’s the same with relationships. We meet someone and they’re amazing! We explode into each others’ lives all colourful sensuous action words and impressive personplaceythings. We share those traits attractive and tendencies formidable, the past moments that shine lights on who we’ve been up until this point, the where I’m at now balanced and sane of course you should hang out with me-ness, those fun fantastic future perfect perspectives of the snapshots we can look back on and smile at how fortunate we’ve been.
We think about all the adventures we’re going to have. Visit Reykjavik, go 4x4ing and giggle at shaggy ponies, swim around in the blue lagoon. Maybe go to Cambodia, he hold my hand and distract me with stories while I get a tattoo and then I’ll return the favour. We’ll fight in airport lounges after not enough sleep and too many Singapore slings (why did you drink so many damn slings!! Sugar makes you crazy and gin makes you an emotionally abrasive whore!!!). We’ll make up in hotel rooms, forget why we fought on beaches, remember during the layover (I don’t care if you are taller than me, if you order a Singapore sling I will jump up and slap you in the face!) and smile with relief, so glad to be home.
We imagine a bevy of scenarios and they’re descriptors of some imagined relationship thing which has no context because it doesn’t have any details (beyond his totally unreasonable affectation for drinking singapore slings while on vacation…I’m just kidding, the aforementioned affectation seems totally reasonable to me. C’mon, grenadine, cherry brandy, soda and gin? (poetic license disclaimer; I do not suggest that I have any idea what people prefer to drink while on vacation, I can and will only speak for myself. Mojitos. Because rum and mint? Hells yeah.)).
A broad and varied vocabulary is required. An ability to communicate and maintain dialogue that allows evolution within the experience is fundamentally necessary. And yes, a well rounded relationship will make space to encompass those smaller, seemingly innocuous parts that rarely make it into the snapshots.
The way his hand feels when it rests on the inside of your thigh as he’s driving. The way her head fits perfectly between your shoulder and jawline as you’re curled up in bed. The way the house smelled that time she was making sushi and burned the rice because you caught her around the waist and dragged her onto your lap. The way she smiles when she’s thinking about you and doesn’t think you see. The way he laughs uproariously at your silly.
The glue. The behind the scenes moments that comprise an existence made personal, meaningful.