This week I’ve spent a little more time than I should have here at my desk playing and creating (i.e., new pages and slideshows and such) and having fun all by myself. So today, in an effort to regain some balance in my life, I thought I’d put everything else aside and begin catching up with other things.
First I did a more thorough than normal kitchen cleanup, you know, where you try to get all the gook out of the little nooks and crannies that builds up daily as hard water deposits, stuff like that! With that accomplished I decided to catch up in the basement. But somewhere along the line I found an old floppy disc from 1996 (when we were still living in Tennessee) and made the mistake of sitting down to explore it. To see if and how my outlook might have changed in the past 11 years. Here’s an entry that caught my eye especially and sent me off on another thought tangent:
I am a salvager of all kinds of things. Yesterday I bought, for $12.99, a watercolor painting completely matted and framed quite a long time ago. The paper backing is peeling off and appears to have been matted by an individual in less than a professional way. All it needs is a new matt, and new frame (or a little paint and/or attention to the frame as it is) as the painting is quite nice, I think. The artist is Jack O’Harra and it’s a house by a big lake with some people in the distance in water with their pant’s legs rolled up. I would not have bought it for any amount of money except that it appealed to me on some obscure level, so I know it will have a home with me for as long as I live.
My first dog was salvaged. Her name was Patsy, a mixed breed but the Border Collie in her dominated. She looked like a black and white Lassie, only much smaller. She was the runt of the litter and I remember when I went to pick out a puppy, everyone was pointing to and picking up bigger, healthier looking puppies and holding them up for me to see. But the one I wanted was the one that was skinny and whimpering, looking for a spot at mama dogs limited banquet table of teats.
When I picked her up, everybody said, Oh no, she’s the runt of the litter. I didn’t know what that meant but I knew that she was the one I wanted, and she went on to become a beautiful and loyal little friend who wouldn’t let anyone come near me unless she was assured by me that it was okay. That event must have marked me to look for the rejects the rest of my life, which is not to imply that that’s what my husband and friends are, but certainly that I always try to look beyond the apparent surface and see the good that’s always lurking there somewhere when sometimes even the people involved don’t know what it is.
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Well, if I wrote this today it would be a totally different story, presented in a different manner perhaps. A writing teacher years back repeated to the class over and over, in an effort to press home the importance of a writer writing everyday, “the story you write tomorrow won’t be the story you write today. Tomorrow you’ll be a slightly different person with an additional day’s experience, thus you will be different.”
But I have come to the conclusion that the facts I wrote in ’96 are still the same. I’m an old softie, and I always will be. Taking the time to see beyond the exterior has paid off well over the years. I’ve made some pretty nice connections over the years with both animals and people that bear me out on this.
Now! Back to housework and catching up.
Oh, this was a great post, Alice and I could SO relate to it.
I’m the same way….If I go searching for a particular piece of writing, or maybe a photo, I get SO sidetracked that before I know it, HOURS have gone by!
And I can also relate with that puppy…..that was so sweet. I also tend to go for the “underdog”. ALways have and probably always will.
And the writing….HOW true that is. That’s why they tell you to let it sit for awhile if you’re working on a novel….let it “perculate” because when you return to it, they’ll be some things you’ll change for the better. All very true.
But over all…..looking back on journals from years ago where I wrote personal thoughts, my opinions, feelings, dreams, etc. haven’t really changed that much at all. Which maybe says…..we ARE what we ARE.
Well, I am in the middle of clearing clutter in my house – and frankly, it’s way more than clutter. My house is drowning in old newspaper clippings, magazines, envelopes with addresses that need to be transcribed, books, containers of yarn and fabric, files, stuff from work. Several years ago I even bought over a dozen gorgeous eiderdown comforters on Ebay from the U.K. Where to put those? I could have a bed like “The Princess and the Pea.”
So, I relate to your meandering through old journals and papers and becoming completely sidetracked. I’ve managed to sort through a few library shelves today and actually have a couple of boxes of books to go to Half Price Books and two bags of trash from the top of the library table.
You’ve given me a wonderful idea – old journal material could make very interesting blog posts. Well, that will take a goodly amount of time and I will enjoy every moment.