Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Swing and a Miss

Today I think I'm missing things.

To be truthful, I'm missing things all the time. And I miss things all the time too. And I MISS things too. It's a funny word that has very different meanings.

I'm missing my winter things. My very cold hands are telling me just how much I'm missing my mittens. I know they are somewhere. Where somewhere, I don't know. I'm pretty sure I can narrow it down to the basement, which means, it might as well be in the Gobi desert...I'll have an equal chance of stumbling across it.

I'm missing socks. I'm even missing SHOES, and sadly for me, in this case I don't mean I'm missing two of the same shoe. I have lonely shoes like I have lonely socks. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? It's a bit ironic because just today as we were walking to lunch, we saw a lonely mitten half-frozen to the sidewalk. A little ways further, we saw a single shoe half-frozen to the sidewalk. I admit to joking for quite awhile about who on earth were incapable of noticing that they were no longer wearing two shoes. If you took inventory of my closet, I'm afraid the answer must be me, because I have a couple of single shoes on my shoe rack. Where did they go??

I miss things too. In this case I mean miss as in don't pay attention to, don't notice in the appointed hour; that sort of things. I think I miss things because I'm constantly tuning out. I'm gut-wrenchingly terrible at remembering names. It seems my brain either never registers bits of information like this or instantly discards it in favor of something else. Sometimes I think it's quite beneficial to relegate tidbits to the circular file of my brain, but by the same token, if I'm asked about something later, all the empty nods I use as a decoy while I try to fill the void with something that makes sense isn't really going to help. In the end it's part balancing act and part extreme filtering all in the name of self-preservation.

And then I miss things. But "things" isn't a very good word, because all these things are important to me in one way or another. I miss people.   I miss places. I miss events that only live in my memory. Right now I miss green grass, and warm sunshine and a vanilla chocolate twist on a Saturday night. I miss clams in June, the beach and the ocean, and detailed discussions about Transformers. I miss my students, although I'm entirely OK with continuing to miss them for the next few weeks. I miss things that were only ever meant to exist in the moment: a beautiful concert, a work of art, an impish grin or a warm touch. A note, chord or musical passage that lived in its moment of resonance, only to fade away, leaving its existence to the custody of my memory.

As much as I am missing things, or miss things or MISS things, I'm not actively seeking to overhaul my behavior.  Sure, it would be convenient if I had complete sets of socks  or shoes that matched and it would be very nice to remember people's names and what they did for a living.  But I'll continue to do the best I can with my present tense sieve-like brain, while trying hard to nurture the memories of all those things that are so important to me.  And don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for the ability to remember.

But still in all, how I wish I didn't have to miss them.

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