On photocopying my hands

August 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

August is ending. Being at my parents’ house for the first time in months, I walked on the lawn barefoot and felt the warmth of the sun for the first time I can remember this summer. Whenever I’m back in this house, I am compelled to sift through the detritus in my room. Of course, there are echoes of my past lives written all over this space. The notebooks I have managed to keep over the last couple of years remain as reminders of where the six years since I first left home have taken me. Much of what existed before that has long been destroyed. Photos and all. Overall, these notebooks show my getting lost, both willingly and unknowingly.

The echoes that reach out through the taped photos, postcards, rail tickets and scribblings show a split person. Someone who wants to remember it all, but not be reminded of it. I wanted to learn how to create a solid, timeless vision of it all. To see myself as a statue, a faded photograph. Wistful and sepia-tinged. It’s the reason I have avoided writing for so long. What you write in any given moment is true. There’s something more visceral and flesh and blood about writing. Which is both the appeal and the reason why retrospection calls at me to destroy everything of the past.

There are inscriptions and notes I wish to destroy. But I don’t want the reason for my destruction to be that I can’t stand that I was honest and vulnerable. I am proud of that. What makes me uncomfortable more is seeing past desperation, weaknesses that settled for the wrong things. Seeing myself reach out of the page wanting. (And on one occasion, my hands, photocopied. One for each side of the sheet of paper, grasping for a palm to mirror them.) The writing I want to keep are the notes to myself, the quotations, recordings of Good Days, art, inspirations. Adventure. Always back to adventure. Perhaps because I’m sure I’ve forgotten how to have one.

And yet, this is the thing about writing. It’s always there to haunt you, whether it’s yours or whether it’s just addressed to you. Whether it’s a record or recording a lack.

What I want to remember from all these notes is that I was someone who reached out. Who put it down in words, whatever it may be, and wasn’t afraid of retrospect. That I am that person. That I am becoming that person. That I am writing that person.


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