Friday, February 6, 2009

oh, dear me






It is rare that one can see in a little boy
the promise of a man,
but one can almost always
see in a little girl
the threat of a woman.

- Alexandre Dumas







me. age 11. motel at Disneyland



Inside Candy
featured a brilliant post recently titled, dear future me. I asked Candy in my comments whether she had written a similar piece to the child she was (or her inner child). She mentioned that she would work on that and I hope she does.

Since then I've been thinking what I would write to the future me, who has far fewer years separating her from the me I now am than the years that separate me from the girl in the photo above. I realize that I don't want to write to her, not now, and it may be exactly because of the closer proximity.

I've thought also what I would write to the child I once was, who has been incorporated into the present in probably more ways than I recognize. I'm not sure how it would turn out; I'm skeptical of my capacity to do an honest job of it. I didn't pay her much attention when I WAS her and it might require therapy to really see her now. Childhood......I have memories, but not like the vivid memories I find so impressive when I read those written by Jennifer, who is mining hers so thoroughly that she practically hands her readers a pick for us to have a go at some of the gems.

Thinking of describing my childhood right now conjures up one weird word: thick. I feel weighted down when I go there, not in an anchored sense, but with a sense of dragging myself through a dense atmospheric zone of time that I do not like and would like to escape. And I did escape......into physicality and fantasy, some of it dark and secretive and some light and loving. While I nearly always acted like the girl my mother wanted me to be I was really never the girl she thought I was.

Oh, dear me......perhaps writing to the future me is something I should undertake (no pun intended, but this does make me think of my mortality). I don't want to move through my present the way I moved through my childhood, basically unaware of myself and perhaps even feeling undeserving of proper preparation and the realization of dreams. I let the dreams of my childhood die and it sure seems like it would be a bum deal to allow the same outcome for my dreams now.

~

22 comments:

dmarks said...

Dumas' wisdom helps make up for his sin of writing a book about four musketeers and calling it "The Three Musketeers".

I have a new post about yet another Stevens Hotel postcad.

francessa said...

Lovely photo, Lydia! The girl Lydia looks trustful, amiable, open for anything.

Maybe you could try to write to a not-so-far-away 'future me'? The point seems to be to define and express clearly things you would want to reach or you'd want to be and present yourself with a strong reminder not to forget about these things, not to get diverted by daily routine. But in a person who lives as consciously as you do (from my humble observation), the inner child is there and has the attention that is needed.

Di Mackey said...

I've been exchanging letters with an old friend and realised that there's so much I've forgotten or that I'm not so sure about. Childhood seemed so long that I thought I had a million stories but it hasn't been quite as I expected as we've 'talked'.

The Acolyte Tao said...

I read the post before, which it did make me think, how I reflect on myself on how I was and how I will become because I am only 17 and have a lot ahead of me in this life. Can't wait though, but I have to learn to experience every second more and the life of it and learn something from that every second and enjoy it. Life is just a game after all, and you make the rules.

deus ex machina said...

what a great idea it is to write to your future you. it may turn out to be filled with hopes and dreams like thinking about how to better yourself more and your efforts and journeys towards that.. .it may also be some kind of a reminder of lessons learned and battles won. but it seems to me that the other way around (writing to your past you) may be some kind of a catharsis in a sense that you bring back new experiences and try to blend it with old but distressful ones making out of it a transcendental growth.

have a nice weekend, lydia. . .:)

Lydia said...

@DMarks- Your Dumas comment cracked me up :) I just returned from your blog and thoroughly enjoyed the Stevens Hotel follow-up.

@Francessa- I liked the way you described the girl, and appreciated your evaluation. Food for thought.....(I first wrote Foof for thought :) When I was about the age as in the picture I had the penpal in Austria I told you about. It's wonderful all these years later to have the internet where another friend in Austria has been found!

@Di- Interesting, isn't it? It's good to have an old friend, or in my case my sister, for that kind of exchange. In some ways I think it's more telling of the *person* and how he/she experiences reality rather than the person's memory.

@Acolyte Tao- I envy you having this technology and this kind of forum for expression at 17. I would have *greatly* benefited by having a blog when I was 17! If you make back-up copies you'll definitely love looking back at your creativity during this time in your life. Great stuff.

@Dex- Re: what you said about writing to the past you..."a catharsis in a sense that you bring back new experiences and try to blend it with old but distressful ones making out of it a transcendental growth."
Transcendental growth: THAT is what I first read coming through your blog! You understand this better than many people and in many ways are far ahead of me in that kind of growth, in having the bravery it takes to face it full on.
You have a good weekend, too. xxoo

Hattie said...

Food for thought indeed! What stays the same in us as we get old? That is my current interest.

sharryb said...

the way that picture is cropped gives it a wonderful mystery - but the girl looking out at us seems like someone we could trust. (Of course, now that we know her from her writing, it turns out to be true!) It might also be interesting to write as her, letting her tell you what she thinks about how things are with you right now and what she wants for your future.

Hugs,
Sharry

Lydia said...

@Hattie- That is a very deep thought, your current interest! I love this and will be considering it too.

@Sharry- You're so sweet to say that. Your perspective, writing as the child to the current adult, is really something to ponder. I'm not surprised that you would propose a different focus!

Bobby said...

Hello Lydia! It's a strange idea to wonder what you'd write your future self. I have barely changed since childhood--feeling like an elder at age five--but I have grown much taller. I'm not so sure I would've listened to myself anyway...I was a stubborn little fella who always loved finding out for myself all these things in life. I've let go of all regrets. I had to--it would kill me if I hadn't.

I was always the son my father didn't want me to be. I was rebellious and fought his stern black & white views on life. I'm not rich, but I'm happy with who I am. Thick is an interesting term to use, but I understand what you mean:)

Lydia said...

@Bobby- Welcome to my blog! I was happy to find you via Jennifer's amazing review about your blog.

I sure understand feeling like an elder as a kid, in some ways feeling more mature than my mother.
I stopped to consider the regrets part of your comment, and realize that I've not let all of mine go. Most, but not all. More now than moments ago....going, going.....

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

i don't think the dreams we have are ever truly lost - some we give up on, some we just store away - others we rediscover from time to time.

Sometimes my own dreams of doing something creative or, hell, that actually matters, seem so far away - but i truly believe that you are strong enough to know where you are going.

My friend and i both went to the same school at the same time and had pretty similar shitty experiences there - the only difference is that he wallows in self pity, whereas i am still railing against the world. I think i see the same spirit in you as i see in my stronger momentsxx

Lydia said...

@Pixies- Makes me feel really fine if you recognize strength in my spirit. The dreams I had as a child really can't be realized in actuality, but can manifest in offshoots of my interests and personality. Kinda like when a rose bush is pruned (reminds me to prune mine mid-February) the original branches that made last summer's blooms (or maybe didn't bloom at all) are in the recycle bin, but there will be new ones coming forth this year.

Lily Hydrangea said...

excellent thought provoking stuff. I wonder if most children act like the children their parents want them to be. It seems like that could be more common than not when you think about how most just want their parents approval. I know I did, & I can see the children around me wanting their parents approval too. It always makes me wonder if other parents ever notice this desire of their children.
I say go for it Lydia because, yes it would be a bum deal to miss out.it's never too late to realize your potential or your dreams.You are inspiring me to make a bucket list!
; )

Buddha said...

The happiest time of my life was my childhood on the farm with my grand parents.
I love myself better as a child than an adult.
Now I'm working to love myself better as an old man :)

Lydia said...

@Lily- A bucket list, yeah...that's the ticket. I wonder if writing letters to your inner child and the future you will be on the list....

@Buddha- You know what I'd love? If you would put some photos of your childhood on the farm with your grandparents on your blog.....sometime, maybe?
I find it positively fascinating what you said about loving yourself better then than now and hopefully will again later. I never thought of it that way. :)

candy said...

I love the way you write!

I also adore the quote by Dumas.

If I were to take a guess at who you were as a child, I would say that you were the essence of who you are now. Thoughtful, possibly sensitive and very talented.

Dreams never really die, sometimes they just remain unfulfilled. And sometimes that is what we need (although not necessarily what we want).

I do understand your reluctance to 'go there' though, because I am reluctant too.

Lydia said...

@Candy- Now, to have you say you love the way I write is a huge compliment, coming from one whose writing I deeply admire. :)
I find it comforting that you peg the essence of me as a child in the manner you do. Also, very comforting is your concept about dreams as unfulfilled rather than dead. *That* is something I can live with. :)

Rhiannon said...

Lydia,

I can understand a lot of what you are saying about your childhood in this post...and your "down the road "you" also. Your wanting to stay in "the moment" which I feel is a good thing probably..:o)

Maybe reaching out to the inner child that is deep in you now? Playing and communicating with her and doing "fun silly things" and "letting her out a bit" might be more healing than going back into what I always call "the pit of the pain from the past"...maybe that might be more beneficial? Who knows?

I write in my journal almost daily..every night that is! I write about the "now" when I journal these days..instead of the past or present..maybe that might be something that might be more helpful or enjoyable?

My poems are sometimes more about the past than my journals. I have been journaling for many years now..kind of fun to go back and read some of my old journal books and see how much I've changed!

Lydia said...

@Rhi- I really like your idea of playing with the inner child instead of delving into that place now. (Sounds as if Candy-above comment-may be in same position.)

I am impressed that you have been that committed to your journals through the years. I stopped writing in journals about 13 years ago when I got married. Not sure if the two are related, though. It really is so interesting to look back at the old journals and see the changes. Have you read the journals of Anais Nin? They're my favorite journals.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I wrote something long and of course profound here several days ago, and must not have posted it correctly! I'm sorry.

It is all gone from my head now. But i thank you for the mentions of my blog.

Lydia said...

@Jennifer- That's such a bummer! :(
I'm sorry to not have that comment here. This one is good, though!

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