12 July 2012

Time Travel

I have this heavy dark wood trunk. It usually serves as the coffee table. It has a small padlock, and it is opened maybe once each year...and only long enough to put something inside and then it's shut fast. That padlock probably makes it mysterious. It's pretty full and consequently very heavy which also adds to the mystery. I do love this trunk...actually i NEED this trunk. Without it I time travel.

My first car, a shitty brown Chevette
I remember a time when everything I owned fit into my car (a shitty brown chevette which I eventually drove until the engine ceased which happened just as I arrived home from a road trip where I had to jump start the car the whole way from Oregon to Albuquerque.) This was in my early college days and I moved around a lot. It was only for about a year of my life that all my worldly possessions fit in that crazy car. Life took over, and I began to collect remnants and remembrances of a life well lived with amazing friends and travels and theatre projects and adventures. I began to settle into the city and collect furniture and art and the occasional appliance (coffee maker). My stuff no longer fit in my chevette (which was good because I had to ditch that car for a junky Subaru wagon, and if I remember correctly I actually had to pay someone to take the car off my hands. Then I painted dolphins and flowers on my subaru).

As I said, I moved around a lot, at least once per year - sometimes more, so I got really good at packing. But I am also meticulous about certain things and moving was always a good opportunity to go through my items and purge. Which meant that at least once per year I was laying hands on all these remnants and remembrances. Old photographs, old journals, letters, scrap books from high school, more letters from long lost lovers, more photographs, newspaper articles, letters from friends who had passed, a bag of my hair which I shaved from my head when I was 21, Dr. Seuss books I had when I was a kid, a few strange and random photos of my strange and random father soberly examining himself in a mirror...oh the paradox…

So with each move this process of digging back through the glories and tragedies and ridiculousnesses (can that be a word?) of my life became more and more difficult. It took hours and hours for me to get through the sentimental boxes. The physical necessity of touching my belongings would send me back in time, and all over time and through every wild emotion all over again. Packing became this special kind of chore from which I would only recover from emotionally after weeks in my new abode. Eventually I stopped unpacking these boxes of remembrances and started moving boxes from one place to another without opening them. One box, then three, then 5. By the end I must have had 7 or 8 boxes, all falling apart at the seams, caked with dust and dirt and spider webs, smelling musty, all labelled with: DO NOT OPEN or SENTIMENTAL CRAP or JUST MOVE TO NEXT HOUSE.

In 2005 I was preparing for a really big move...headed to a really big city that I didn't like to be with a really awesome guy that I did like. I remember staring at my time travel boxes as I was packing. I'd grab a beer and just go look at those damn boxes. I'd start to shake and sweat, and I'd just walk away. This was a big move. I knew it then, I knew I might not be back. I knew it could be the next chapter of a completely different life filled with completely different people and a wildly different career and completely different goals and dreams and fears and loves and joys and sorrows. So what the hell was I going to do with all my sentimental crap?? What the hell was i going to do with all the evidence of a life already well lived and documented? I was explaining to a friend that I was having some big trouble trying to get this stuff purged and re packed because by now it was like an osmosis effect: just touching these objects could transport me, when she recommended I get a trunk, something very nice to look at, something classy...and something with a LOCK. She told me to go through my boxes one last time and try to purge as much as I could and then put the rest in the trunk and lock it. Brilliant.

Technically I'm not a pack rat. I can get rid of stuff, even stuff I like! But who throws away photographs or letters from dead friends or artwork from children? (ok don't get me started here, Jack is 3 and the original artwork pile is already getting way out of hand). And on the other side of that coin, who wants that stuff out and hanging around your life, cluttering your current flow. Hence my trunk.

I was already afraid to put hands on my past by the time I decided to change my life entirely, so it's not that I pine for a life before kid or a life before husband. Handling the evidence of my life, no matter what piece, has always been a challenge. Time travel with serious jet lag. Hence the trunk.

But lately I've been thinking...
I've been thinking that perhaps I need to...
...open the trunk…

I've been wondering if there could be certain circumstances where opening the trunk would be an anodyne. Maybe sometimes you need to lay hands on the evidence of a life you no longer live so that the one you do live now can get fuller and make more sense. I think my direction changed so dramatically in 2005 that even now I'm not sure I recognize myself. Maybe the trunk was actually a bad idea considering I got it at a time when there was a fierce division in direction. Maybe we're not supposed to lock up our former lives in a trunk when we set out into uncharted territory. So I'm thinking about doing a little time travel, because I am realizing I need to be reminded of who i am in this new jungle of motherhood and wife-dom, bill-slaying and dish-scouring, child-sculpting and music- making. And the evidence of my identity is in the life i've already lived...the whole life.

Here goes...

Buddies in High School

Woodstock '94 (the good one not the one with fire and pillage and rape)

Getting my head shaved. For a role.
A bunch of my friends shaved their heads with me, in support
Breaking Bad? Nah, just free, free, free (free to not wear a helmet and crash, scaring the shit out of my friends)
Me and my beautiful best friend. Seattle 2000. Shot by our  good friend Jason Griego

Lost in rural poland at 6am. Note the date: 10/21/01 - about a month after September 11. (Getting lost in Poland was my fault by the way. We all fell asleep on the train but somehow it was my fault we missed our stop. No one spoke English here.)

me and my shadow (Demons and Flower Dresses, Tricklock's first original physical poetic creation)

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