Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Changes by Kathryn Magendie

Nothing remains static. The world turns with all our energies both expelled and absorbed from pre-beginning to after-end; we become a part of a greater energy. Everything is pulsating, a part of each other. So how could something so dynamic not change and morph? Even require it. There is The Good Change, and there is The Bad Change, and there are the changes that no one notices until one day they say, “Hey…wait…whatever happened to…” And there is that moment of bemusement, or maybe of loss for what wasn’t even missed until some fluke in the atmosphere caused a flick of the memory-wrist. And then there are the snapshots filed away in drawers, albums, and the parts of the brain made just for remembrance.

I have this snapshot shouting loud. It comes uncalled and unbidden, but it comes. It is winter, and the snow is falling, blanketing an already white-washed world. The backdrop is sepia-toned, shades of black and white with that tinge of old-timey photograph brown. I am dressed warm, and by my side are my husband and my two dogs. We’re on the Muse Trail, Level Two. I have my camera and I’ve set it to video and as I turn 360 degrees, I say, “Isn’t this lovely? Isn’t this the best life ever? Don’t you wish you were me?” My dogs, off their leashes, run in the snow, their paws kicking up sprays of snow and arcs of ice that hover for just a moment before falling back down to earth; some catch prisms—I know; I saw. The branches are laden with snow and some hang heavy, ready to smack a head and sent showers of cold upon them—I know; I was showered. We walk in the most perfect silence ever: you know the silence? The one that muffles footsteps, but makes bird calls ring so clear through the air that you hear it in perfect pitch. I have that snapshot because there have been changes come since that Perfect Day. Changes that make the memory one I am grateful for, even as I wish for all of it back, Human that I am. Yet, would the memory stand in such sharp gorgeous relief if the changes had not altered it beyond repair? No. I’d have taken it for granted, knowing I could have that feeling over and over again. That Perfect Day has become one I feel the most profound sense of gratitude for—I know; I was there before the changes.

7 comments:

Patresa Hartman said...

i love how multi-sensory your writing is. and i love gratitude of contrast -- grateful for then, because of now. just beautiful.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Ditto what Patresa said. I saw and felt the white hushed landscape in which you were the first human to visit that one Perfect Day. Many more to you!

Barbara Quinn said...

Lovely, sad and lovely. Those moments of memory can shore us up for the now and it's a joy to learn about them through your words.

Ami said...

Beautifully written. I could feel the gratitude in your words. I was there with you. Only I wasn't. But I have my own One Perfect Day (or is it days?) to be grateful for.

Mary Ann said...

Kat,
Have never, ever been in snow, well, real snow, anyway. What we have fits about here is, as you well remember, mostly ice.

Therefore, I've not heard a birdcall in the "eternal snows," as D. Thomas writes. Surely it must be as pure and clear as your writing.

Thanks for the memory. Literally.

MA

Anonymous said...

This mental picture is one us in South LA may never see. Thanks for the peek into a real winter memory.
Oren

Kathryn Magendie said...

Thank you all for your comments *smiling*....

this morning is cool - imagine that - an August morning cool and fresh - -ahhh

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