I was part of a movement of "dinosaur moms" when I lived in Maryland (Astrodon Johnstoni is the Maryland state dinosaur.) Which is nothing more than this -- dinosaur moms delight in the half-feral nature of the beasties they parent, even as they whisper Shakespeare and Kierkegaard in their ears at night.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Archival Minds

This is a shout-out to the people in my life with the archival minds. It has been my great good fortune that at every stage in my life there has been one really remarkable person whose memory is good enough and who is interested enough in me that she has borne witness to the little musings and proclamations of my life, and played them back for me.

My memory is lousy. I once had a pen pal in England, and every time I would write her I would say the same exact thing, about this boy I liked, and how he didn’t know I was alive. When she got back to the States, she showed me these repetitious letters, chiding me for my obsession. But really all it was was that I thought it was an interesting thing to write in a letter; and it never occurred to me I had already done so.

The original memory-keeper in my life, and reigning champ, is J ---. She has known me as long as I can remember (Or should I rephrase that, since we’ve established that isn’t much of a boast? Since middle school). And we have kept touch despite boarding school, college, grad school, and various other moves. I have sometimes been a pretty good correspondent, but, as Jane Austen said, “It is my unhappy fate seldom to treat people so well as they deserve.” More often than not, it was she who tracked me down. Remember, young’uns, this was before google. There was a web of friends to be maintained in order for us all to keep track of each other; and she was its center. With her as Greek chorus, every step on my life’s journey has felt like prophecy fulfilled. “Well of course you’re marrying him – remember what you said about him when you first met?”

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