“It was after this that Charlotte began to dream she was fighting to stay Charlotte, and one night woke from such a dream struggling, even crying a little. When she was calm again, she did not feel sleepy at all, so she lay still, carefully and deliberately making herself remember Aviary Hall, object by object, room by room. Also she made herself remember things that had happened to her as Charlotte, but it was alarming how the details seemed to slip away from her.”
I stumbled upon a new edition of my favorite book from third grade–Charlotte Sometimes by Penelope Farmer. A girl in 1940’s England begins boarding school and finds that she travels through time and switches places with a girl similar to herself, only in 1917. In the middle of the book, she she becomes stuck in the past and has a hard time then remembering who she really is. The passage I quoted above has haunted my thoughts for quite a while now. I began to think about how easy it was to become so preoccupied with life that your identity gets lost in the mess of daily life and gradually becomes less and less impassioned.
I have felt that way lately, which is incredibly tragic because fall is the time when my senses are most awake and inspired. I have found myself needing to set aside the piles of grading and planning and to do lists and phone calls I should make and remember, “object by object” where my heart actually lies, before it slips away and life becomes just motions.
At the core, this is a spiritual issue. When I forget that I am loved, forgiven and lavished with grace I begin to live in a way that calls out the world to give me meaning, which is so hollow…but also an attractive hiding place. It blocks my view of Jack Kerouac’s haikus, and walks through tree lined streets and laying on my bed listening to La Ciengna Just Smiled and eating banana bread with neighborhood kindreds.
My lack of posts is due to this perpetual list making that cuts off the passion. But I’m working on remembering object by object, room by room…