I am transcribing journals from my year spent teaching in Spain. There are three bulky ones, the day-to-day ones, and four slim pocket-size libretas, the ones for expressions and new vocabulary words. Transcription is a tiring process, but rewriting--that's a process I really enjoy. Many times, when rereading old journal entries, I'll find these little tidbits, thoughtlets, really, that could easily replace pages of foreign-correspondent-description. Here's one I just found tonight:
When I left I split your mirror in half
I keep my half in my pocket
And when I look down to see you
There I am, reflected back
Across an ocean, a year, a novel, a song.
I might have been thinking about a boy I left behind in California. It could have been Santa Barbara, or university life in general, or even my country as a whole. The truth is, I still feel that way, about most anyone and anything that has ever meant anything to me.
In a way, so much of our lives are defined by cleaving things into pieces. Cells divide. People meet, fall in love, drift apart. Decisions are made, cities change, things grow and die. What do we actually remember, and stays remembered inside us?