POV: Reminders.

Monday, July 15, 2013

POV ("point of view") is a series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. Each POV entry will include a photograph and a short reflection based on what’s pictured. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV will focus on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories.  


This weekend, I hung art on the walls of my new bedroom. Near my bed, where I’ll see them when I wake up and go to sleep, are three favorite quotes. 

Let everything happen to you. Beauty and terror. That’s Rilke.

Had I not created my whole world, I would certainly have died in other people’s. Nin.

Craziness is heaven. Hendrix.

“Why so many words?” someone asked me.

“‘I’m forgetful,” I said. “I need reminders.”
---

A couple of weekends ago, I drove two hours upstate with a group of friends in search of swimming holes and solace from the stifling heat. We hiked through the woods, leapt off rocks into water below, picked wild blueberries and ate them by the handful. At day’s end, we watched the sunset from an overlook by the side of the road.

There were no emails to check, no phone calls, no sounds except for the ones made by birds, trees, the shuffling of our feet in dirt. 

“We’ll be able to see stars tonight,” someone remarked.

I kicked off my shoes, stretched my legs, squinted in the orange light.

Megan turned to me. “Remember stars?” she said.

---

We drove home the next night, late. Before we reached the city, before we hit traffic, or streetlights, or roads with other cars, I stood up in the backseat with my head through the sunroof. We wound our way through darkness. Rain fell.

“Sometimes I think I’m too old to do things like this,” Megan had said earlier. “Then I remember.”’

There were times, I added, when I would have been too afraid to follow unmarked trails; jump off cliffs; leave my life, even for a day. There was so much missing then - sunsets, wild berries, hiking in the shadows of trees. Giant leaps that were in fact not-so-giant but felt that way; wind and raindrops; winding roads and stars everywhere. 

The best reminders are often wordless.

---
You can find my previous POV entries, here, and the archive for my personal essay column on the Equals Record, here - thank you so much for reading!

14 comments:

Ren M. Brocke said...

When I was growing up, my dad always thought I hated being outdoors because I always stayed inside. Granted, on the east coast, the outdoors is often muggy, hot, and insect infested. My dad and I didn't have a great relationship then, so a lot of the time I just didn't want to go outside because I knew it would be awkward with him always out there working in the yard. But, I did like to go walk the trails around our house with my friend, Shannon, and one day I took my bike out to the very end of the longest trail to my grandfather's runway and just sat on a mound of dirt looking at the grass growing over the runway lights.

I still don't really go outside that much, but I do like it. Especially during the fall when the weather around here is just right.

Hena Tayeb said...

That sounds perfect.. something I don't think I have done in a long time.. I live far, we live far from the friends who were like siblings.. we are making new friends but the process is slower and families are growing and spontaneity becomes harder as responsibilities increase.. but it truly does sound perfect.

sherry said...

Beautifully written, as always. Loved it.

Anonymous said...

that jump looks exhilarating and magical. good for you for taking the leap!

Shoko said...

Ren, thank you so much for sharing that. Your description of biking to your grandfather's runway is so beautiful; I can picture it vividly. I was never much of an outdoorsy type myself, but for the sake of adventure, I'm trying to learn to love it. On the whole, though, I'm like you - a homebody. I think that's a lovely thing to be :)

Hena, it sounds like you're moving in a great direction - but I know what you mean. When we get older, it's so much harder to be spontaneous - it's possible, though!

Charlee said...

This sounds lovely. What a great escape.

Joy said...

So perfectly written - and so true. Sometimes I feel that way about pictures, I spend so much time trying to document what's happening at the time so as to not forget, that I actually don't enjoy what's happening in the moment.

Raquel R. said...

I share with you the love for these tiny bits of condensed wisdom.That’s why I love your POVs. So few words, so much to think about.

Shoko said...

Joy, yes! We were joking at the time that so often, we watch sunsets through the lenses of our cameras.

Raquel, thank you - that means so much to me!

angela said...

So glad you are saying yes to adventure! You are a great example to follow!

tara said...

I love this post! Hanging up pictures/quotes/beautiful things near your bed is so important!

I LOVE that you went cliff jumping! It's one of my favorite things! I need to do it soon.

Akiko said...

This is such a beautiful writing and reminded me of the time I felt the same way (it happens always when I read your column!) I love the quotes you hang on the wall, by the way. I need reminders too..! xo akiko
Style Imported

vanessa joie said...

I love those quotes. I have a hard time with the first one though. I've had enough terror. I love your writing.

Shoko said...

Thank you all so much.

Tara, I'd highly recommend it!

Vanessa, I understand. That's a hard one. By the looks of it, though, you're doing fabulously.

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