My study looks like a bomb went off it. Quite a contrast to the rest of the house. Stacks of books and papers everywhere. CDs leaning at a crazy angle. They are the photo archive back-up of almost every photo I have taken since I began taking pictures. Before digital cameras, I seldom took pictures. Yesterday and the day before, I was hunting frantically for an old picture from 2006. It was in the wrong folder, but assiduous hunting found it. I’m a little nuts sometimes; wild-eyed but not dangerous.
A cork-board leans against the low bookcase on the south wall of my study. I have to move a blue and pink sparkly hula hoop to get to it. Things I like or want to remember are stuck to the board with push-pins.
I wrote: “I am a person who always looks for the silver lining. Silver linings are important to me.” October, 2009
A quote from Harry Crews’s memoir: “If you don’t leave home you suffocate, if you go too far you lose oxygen.”
A blurry photo of a little hedgehog on the sidewalk of Queenstown, New Zealand. Underneath, a handwritten label: “Enzed the Urban Hedgehog.” I have half-written a story for children about Enzed, who was out on the streets when he should have been hibernating. He wanders into a cyber cafe, snuggles up in an American teenager’s backpack and winds up in Los Angeles (or Atlanta, or Tampa, or Asheville). He turns out to be a she, and has many adventures. Unfinished, but still on the board. The children I was writing it for are nearly grown now. Every now and again they will ask, “Are you ever going to write Enzed?”
A black and white scanned image of my older sister and me in white Easter dresses. I was six. She was sixteen. There is a joy, a solidarity and a confidence seldom seen in my family’s paltry photo albums.
A few New Yorker cartoons are stuck on the board, arcane and delicious, and an index card that says: “What myth are you living?’