Friday, October 15, 2010

A Journal Entry.

Throughout the past three months, I have been helping my father to move 
out of his home of nearly twenty years.
 To say that this task has been hard would be an understatement. 
The move is over now and I have been left with boxes upon boxes of letters and photographs from my childhood.
 Most of these items were given to my father by my sister or I, 
and to have the chance to read or re-read them for the first time in years is quite something.
 I wrote the following unfinished journal entry when I was eighteen years old.
 It was written for my sister, Kelly.
(I had forgotten that I ever wrote it at all.)

I was looking at a picture of myself yesterday, I couldn't have been more than three or four years old. I remember the day that it was taken. I remember the way that the sun was hitting the top of my head, warming my entire body and sending chills down my tiny spine.  I remember the warm breeze that caused my long sun kissed hair to tumble lazily over my small, undefined shoulders.  I remember the doll that was within my embrace; her cotton stuffed body and her bald head, and the way that I felt when she was with me.  I remember my balance within the branches of that beautiful olive tree; the tree that provided hours of activity and a branch that was shaped like a horses back. I remember smiling because I was happy.  I remember the woman that was standing behind the camera; I was smiling because she made me happy.  I remember that my sister had been the small girl in the picture just minutes before I had been, and I remember that this was the reason that had wanted my picture taken.

I was looking at a picture of myself yesterday, I couldn't have been more than six or seven years old.  I remember the day that it was taken.  The beach was hot that day.  I remember the smell of the sunscreen that was wiped over my small pale body and I remember thinking that the bullfrog on the bottle of skin saving cream was rather cute.  I remember the way that sand uncomfortably filled the lower half of my bathing suit. I remember that my pigtails were too tight and that my headache would come and go.  I remember playing in the ocean until my arms were too weak to keep me above the large waves crashing above my head. I remember digging through the sand until I could feel the moisture and see water.  I remember that my sister was there that day.  I remember that she was able to stay in the ocean for longer amounts of time than I was, and that she was able to dig at a much quicker speed than I.  I remember that I wanted to do whatever it was that she was doing and I wanted to do it just as well as she had.

I was looking at a picture of myself yesterday, I couldn't have been more than ten or eleven years old.  I remember the day that it was taken.  A day at the fair, cotton candy and fun.  I remember the crowds of people and the noise that filled the air.  I remember that the sun was out in all it's splendor,lighting the day and making the fair come alive.  I remember the smell of deeply fried food and of sugar in all forms and I remember eating it, and loving it.  I remember my cheek feeling stiff from the paint that was on it and I remember feeling beautiful because of the paint that decorated my face.  I remember feeling relieved that my face  painting had turned out just like my sisters had I remember feeling brilliant for suggesting to have our faces painted in the first place.  I remember having the time of my life and I remember the exhaustion at the end of the day.

I was looking at a picture of myself the other day, I couldn't have been more than thirteen or fourteen years old. I remember the day that it was taken.  A day on the boat, filled with crashing waves and upset stomachs.  I remember that the sun kept coming and going, creating an uncomfortable temperature and the constant addition or subtraction of a sweater. I remember sitting on the bow of the boat that then seemed massive and feeling my body rise and fall with the rhythm of the passing waves. I remember watching my sister sitting beside me, her feet dangling weightlessly over the side of the vessel, taunting and teasing the water below.  I remember her hair dancing madly though the air, her arms raised above her head, fingers spread. I remember looking at her and doing the same that she did.  

I was looking at a picture of myself yesterday, I couldn't have been more than sixteen or seventeen years old.  I remember the day that it was taken.  Vacation, back to the place where we were born and spent the beginning of our lives.  Idaho, the potato state.  I remember that I was tired and that the vacation seemed to be running long.  I remember feeling glad to be outside as opposed to the trailer on wheels in which we were traveling.  I remember that the air seemed to smell a bit different there in front of our old house on Cottonwood Street.  Full of nature, full of tress, full of memories, full.  I remember looking at my sister walk  through the front lawn and peer over the fence, reacting to the wooden deck that my father built by hand, and that we had seen so many times in old photographs.  I remember following her from one side of the house to the other, doing exactly what she had done so that at some point in the future she would not ask me had I seen something that she had, and I would have to say no.  I remember thinking that she was so smart to have taken a leaf from the giant tree that hung like a canopy over the front yard, and I had meant to do the same, but  I forgot.  I remember my sister, I remember the house and I remember the way the air smelled that day.

I was looking at a picture of myself yesterday, I couldn't have been more than eighteen years old, for those are the number of years that I have lived.  I remember the day that it was taken. A day on the lake. I remember the spray that the boat created and the way that the mist rested on my face.  I remember the crisp air that seemed to cut through my body and continue on to chill someone else's skin.  I remember being so thankful that I was there with my sister, spending time with her, and watching her glide over the wake of the boat that tore through Lake George...


FairfieldHouse said...

Thank you for sharing this intimate and poignant piece that shows the love you have always had for your sister. I see this admiration in Brooklyn's eyes when he is in Sebastian's company.

Your Friend,

Kelly Sweda said...

I remember this :) Love you so much. xoxo