Last weekend when Lila and I on our walk through the woods, we stopped at a neighbors’ house. They had a stove on their porch and asked if I knew anyone wanting it. They were giving it away. I told my friend Suzanne who said she did indeed want a stove. So I called my neighbor. But it was the wrong neighbor. I couldn’t remember where I had seen the stove. A few days later I did remember. But it made me think about memory. Forget my past phenomenal memory: perhaps I should now write down everything I do each day so I will have a record when I need to check on something. A good idea but I haven’t yet been able to overcome the feeling that it would be a tedious exercise. Maybe if I drew little pictures as well as wrote my daily diary it would be more interesting.
I did once, for a couple of years, write down everything I did that was art related. It was an interesting record, done mainly for the T-man. But then my suitcase was stolen from my car on Greene Street in Manhattan when I was unloading some paintings for an exhibit after driving down from Halifax. I wasn’t out of the car for more than a half hour. But that was more than enough to get the book and my inspiration for writing details. Of course the thief wasn’t interested in the diaries or my slides or clothes, or even my passport, all of which were found strewn across the streets. He did keep my plane ticket as I was on my way to California after New York. He didn’t get anywhere anyway with the ticket. I got a new one. And a lovely woman retrieved my passport. When I went to pick it up, she made us some tea and told me I should always keep it on my person when traveling. I had a very pleasant visit with her.
And then a few days ago I came across an old journal, one I hadn’t tossed. It wasn’t about what I did that day but about what I thought, felt that day. It too was memories and it too could help me find something. Feeling things, learning things. Where I’ve been on the path to where I’m going. What remnants are in the clothes of my life.
I don’t write that kind of journal much anymore either. It’s hard to overcome the feeling that someone someday will read it. Not to self-censor, make it honest. I think, maybe, I am just enjoying living each day without thinking about it too much. Maybe.