One of my best Spanish professors at Baylor explained the way the romance languages assign gender to all nouns by quoting an Italian friend of hers, “Oh, Life, she iz beautiful!” That’s a sentiment that has stuck with me ever since. European artist Banksy portrays the sentiment beautifully:
According to some people, I have some kind of freakish memory. When I was very young, I wanted to be a private investigator, so I started writing everything down. Stupid stuff, like when my dad got home from work every night and how much toilet paper was on the roll in the half bath by the den. When I started studying writing, every teacher, professor, and mentor drilled into me to take a mental snapshot of everything that happens, write down everything I can, and write what I know. However, as I’ve gotten older, I find that I’m more focused on figuring out what I want or need to say than observing.
As a professional writer, that makes my job more difficult. I have struggled in the areas that were harder for me to research because the more I can immerse myself, the more I can internalize a topic and create a conversation.
I’ve been trying very hard to conjure pleasant memories from my freakishly detailed memory, specifically about my grandmother. Frankly, my best memories of her were when we all went to Disney World. She was in a wheelchair, but that totally worked in our favor! We made the effort to push her everywhere, but we got to skip line and wait at the exit of rides until the workers would let us on. I remember riding the Runaway Mine Train twice in a row … my grandma was laughing so much!
Oh, life, she is beautiful! I’m so grateful for my “freakish” memory and my many journals filled with thoughts, musings, and memories. I get to return to precious moments I’ve shared with important people like my grandmother. I have already written about another important person in my life, my late friend Chirsti. But with her I still have plenty of handwritten notes from her to fuel my memories. Somehow, I feel certain that having another person’s active influence in my memories makes them more objective. Like I can’t just focus on the good stuff.
And yet, life, she is beautiful. Good and bad. It’s beautiful.