Wednesday, May 12, 2010

I Remember

I think this got stirred up from the discussions of Bird by Bird I'm involved in right now.  One of the things the book mentions as writing fodder is your memories, although the author specifically mentions childhood memories, and what rose to the surface of my mind today wasn't at all from childhood.

Still, I think I can understand where today's wandering thoughts came from.  They are from a melancholy turning point in my life, and today I am feeling melancholy.  I am oddly sad at releasing my little bird embroidery--I've never sent an original piece off to someone I don't know, and I had no idea it would make me feel sad! 

So today I found myself writing about Seattle.  I love Seattle, and I think I need to work on getting there more often--it would help if I wasn't really afraid of driving my stick shift on those hills.  But that's something I can find a way around, I think.  Seattle has been calling me for a very long time, since before I actually met her, and I think this is just part of answering that call.

Here's what I wrote today:

I remember a dream in 1994.  In the dream I was in Seattle, in a neighborhood of ranch houses under a gray and lowering sky.  The front yards were sloped, a little hilly, green mostly, a bit weedy.  Not an upper class neighborhood. Working class.  Sepia wash over it all like my dreams always are.  And I was across the street looking at a blue house, mid-tone blue, not pale, not dark or bright or vibrant.  A little dull like the sky.  And a boy in the yard, running across yards.  And his name was Chris, and he was important to me in the dream, and for many days afterward, and now I can't remember why.  He was my boyfriend? I seem to remember being young in the dream.  My brother?  My son?  I don't know, but I do know I was following him, chasing him, trying to find him.  And he was important as I ran through these Seattle yards in a nondescript neighborhood I had never actually seen in the world.  But you know, later that year when I went to Seattle for the first time, I saw neighborhoods that looked so much like my dream.

Curt Cobain died that year, and he changed my life forever. I was already becoming fascinated with the Seattle bands and their compatriots, the grunge movement and the lyrics that so many people seemed to miss because of the music.  They were saying things, and I understood them, and they were my people, and I was drawn to them.  And then the suicide.  And I was pulled to go to Seattle, desperate to get there the way I had never been so fiercely needy for any place else.  And I went, and I loved, and I wanted to stay.  And I cried on the day we left, because I was leaving what felt to me like home.

And five years later, finally the pull was answered, or mostly.  I moved to Portland.  Not Seattle, and not quite the same, and Seattle still has a hold on my heart, and someday I will find a way to be there more and answer that call, but at least I am here, and near to my heart now, and I know I am finally in a place I belong.

And because I really, ridiculously, unreasoningly love the Space Needle, here are two views.  One, a classic "from beneath" shot:

And this one because I've seen the Space Needle from just this vantage point and recognize the entire, gloriously ordinary view, and that gives me a thrill:

Now I am finished being maudlin.  I'm going to start gathering images for an Alice in Wonderland swap that's due in early July and that is going to require mushroom images.  Lots and lots of mushrooms!  See you soon.

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