Thursday, October 22, 2009

This is one of the views I see on my way home from work. It doesn't do the scene justice, partly because it was overcast today, but the leaves in this wooded area are breathtaking. I have been travelling that way home, even though it's a little out of the way, just to feed my soul a little. It's good to make beautiful mental pictures to hold onto like little secret treasures.

The idea of memory as a key element of personality is a theme that has been on my mind lately. "What you leave in, what you leave out." The key is in the editing. No one remembers things with 100% accuracy. The way we remember things, the things that stick with us, the things that we believe are important to remember, these shape the decisions we make in our lives. Without memory, we cannot interact with our world in a meaningful way.

I love to hear stories that people tell about their lives. I love to tell stories about my life. When I was growing up, I loved to hear my parents tell stories about themselves before they were married. Now that we have kids, they love to hear our stories. It holds their attention longer than anything else I can think of.

Last night I went out with several friends from work who share October birthdays with me. Dr. Tang, our favorite physiatrist, started the tradition. She was a fantastic doctor to work with, the best any of us can remember working for. She listened to us and to her patients and she still kept her authority. Anyway, she took us all out to dinner and we've been doing it for five or six years now. I'm the oldest, so I'm the first one to be looking 50 square in the face. I haven't come up with a plan for my 50th birthday, so that will be one big task for me this year.

I'm kind of losing my narrative thread here, though. I started out thinking about pretty views and now we've veered into memories and the passing of time. Actually, even though it's been kind of a wet fall, I have enjoyed the changing leaves more this year than in the past several years. Sometimes I see autumn as just the lead-in to winter, which I don't enjoy at all. But this year it doesn't seem to bother me as much. In fact, I'm just amazed at every little vignette I see--a cluster of colorful leaves against a curb, a mass of mixed foliage colors around the road, a stand of bright red trees in a median at the mall. They're everywhere I look.

This year I'm bravely taking on tasks in my sewing room. This has not been possible the last few years. Right now, I'm itching to finish this and post it so I can go sew a little. So stay with me as I venture into the uncharted waters of another winter!

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