19 March 2015

Abandoned in a shoe box...

A few days ago, "my memory turning to lace" could not produce the name of a woman I met at the British Women Writers Conference 2010 and with whom I had had a lovely conversation re. Christian Rossetti. I know that all my conference notes are carefully put away somewhere. Where? Not found. In turning a closet and one room into a disaster area, what I found was an archival box labeled: "K To Do" which I had not seen since we moved in 2012. Oh, my! Most stuff went straight to recycle but buried away were some pages torn from spiral notebooks. I usually keep a notebook at hand to scribble random thoughts, notes, to do lists, my journal. When a notebook is full I rip out the scribble pages, put an end date on the cover, and put it on the shelf on my other journals. I am always left with a few things that need to be transcribed to one of my projects. Such were the items that I simply abandoned and forgot.

"Among those whom I like or admire, I can find no common denominator, but among those whom I love, I can: all of them make me laugh."  W.H. Auden (1907 - 1973) I have no idea where I read this quote or why I noted it. For me it's not particularly true. The paper indicates that I noted it in the early 1980s and also has a tree of computer commands that I think are probably for my first computer, a KayproII which David bought for me the first year it came out (1982) and I most happily used well into the 1990s until I finally had to give up and buy something that could run Microsoft Word.

"If my life was, in my view, finite, how would I change my life today? Today is finite. Indeed, each moment is finite. "Today while it is yet today..." Choose. Is my current choice the best choice for me? Is the continual laying aside (putting off) my dreams a lofty self-sacrifice for the greater good? Or, is it, in truth, a betrayal of myself? If I made the best choice for me, without regard for others, would I do more good, ultimately, for others, too?" The type of notebook page and the pen I was using indicate that this note dates much later, the late 1990s. The first sentence may have been a writing prompt (I'm fairly certain that I would have written, "if my life were... finite... It's one of my grammarly sore spots.) from some psychological and spiritual guru or self-help book that I engaged before or during my Jubilee sabbatical in 1999. Still a good question for me to consider.

Pages torn from another notebook (later, I think probably about 10 years ago) continue those thoughts about choices in a list:

  1. Go see Mother & Daddy 4x/year Fall Spring Since they moved to Clifton I have gone much more often and Daddy died last year. I think that four times might be a better choice for me than the every couple of months that I try to keep on my current calendar.
  2. ??? Ladies Bible Class  ??? Church Library both of which I have now intentionally cut from my life
  3. need to stretch muslces: hamstrings! calves! I still need to do that
  4. If someone told me what I'm telling me, I'd say, "Different times in life demand different priorities. It's okay to back off and do what you need/want to do for your family." I'd still say the same except "family" might be changed to "yourself."
  5. Mother and Daddy said, "You've been good your whole life, we think you should have fun." I remember when they said that. We were lingering over breakfast before I left Clifton to go home. Often when Daddy said bye to one of his kids/grandkids/brothers/cousins, he'd say, "you be good now." Mother interrupted him and said, "No, Kendall. Don't you remember what we said we were going to tell her from now on." And they said in unison, "You've been good your whole life, we think you should have fun." Made me cry then. Makes me cry now.

The crumpled edges of the ripped spiral holes of the next page are interlocked with the previous, perhaps indicating a response to my parents' instruction, and that page is another list titled What's Fun?:

  1. playing with Mandy
  2. puttering in my house & yard  plant flowers! birds!
  3. writing - my creative work
  4. reading
  5. daydreaming about my trip to UK
  6. music
  7. Rice baseball
  8. dinner parties

I could have written that list yesterday.

In 2000 as they do every four years, Weiss Tabletop Theater at Rice University staged an updated version of George Greanias's Hello, Hamlet! (1964) which David and I attended with classmates with whom we had seen the second production in 1968. The program from that production enclosed a  page from another notebook, from the time when I was using blue legal pads. In May 2003, we adopted Miss Mandy Whitepaws and I made a few notes for a musical a la Grenaias. Here is a list of songs to be adapted:
The portrait photo of Mandy
made three weeks after we got her.
Hello, Mandy! 
"Well, hello, Mandy. Welcome home, Mandy. It's so nice to have a dog where she belongs..." I still sing this one to her.
"I Enjoy Being a Dog..." to the tune of "I Enjoy Being a Girl" to be reprised as a duet "I Enjoy Having a Dog..."
"What Kind of Dog (Fool) Am I?"
"Look, I'm a Lassie tonight!" to "Luck, be a lady..."
"Some Bark, Some Don't" to Freddie Hart's Some do, some don't
"Bark, Bark, Mandy" to "Bye, Bye Birdie
and the grand finale
"Glory, Glory, Mandy Whitepaws (Hallelulja!)

Other items will be going back into the box for K To Do later.

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