June 14, 2004
Wherever I am, there will always be breakfast. Whether we wake up at seven or two. I’ll make it. I hope you don’t mind that I’m worthless at making eggs. Bright pinky-red strawberries in shiny silver bowls. Sweet smells drifting upstairs. A little dog content under the table and my daffodils in a vase. Coffee. An open window letting in the morning breeze. Shelves lined with my teapots. Sitting at the table cross-legged. Making every day last a year.
Earlier today I was digging through my old journal, the one I started in the early part of 2001 and that I kept regularly for most of the next 10 years, only slowing down with posts a few years ago. It is odd, being able to look back in time like that. The things I worried about seemed so big then. Now, looking back, distance and maturity makes them appear much smaller.
It’s less the events and more the person writing them that interests me. She seems so different. I wonder, if I could tell her anything, would I? I’ve watched enough movies about time travel to know how much havoc that can wreak. It’s probably best that space and time keep me from communicating with my younger self.
In spite of all the differences, there’s something about reading those words and finding in them something that is still true. So little about my life looks the same as it did back then. But there are parts of it that I can trace from the beginning of that journal, clear through today, a few true, steady things that remain.
When he started to speak, I couldn’t concentrate. I was sure he had spotted me in the audience, and I was trying to guess what he was thinking. How did I look to him? How different was the woman of twenty-nine from the girl of seventeen? — Paulo Coelho, By The River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept
I am a quarter inch taller. I have mastered most of the ways an egg can be prepared (still rotten at poaching). If you look closely, you may spot a snow white hair or two peeking through my black roots. There are fewer questions in my eyes and, I think, a touch more confidence.
Really though, looking past external, circumstantial changes and the sometimes naive tone I had, so much of it is the same. A few years ago someone asked me if I felt I had changed much in the last decade of my life and upon examining where my head and heart were about things, I concluded that I didn’t feel I had changed much at all. Not at the core of my being.
Maybe it’s a flaw, looking back as I do, like Lot’s wife. I am not convinced. There is something steadying about turning and seeing who you were and knowing that many of the things you have faith in, hope for, and love remain the same.
As it happens, this 2000 page anchor of a journal once bore a title that makes more sense to me now than it did when I plucked the words from the pages of a book…
Some things stay.