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26 Oct 2017

Notes from a Notebook.

Written by sally @ 10:05 am — Section: sally

Looking for a particular poem last night, I found a notebook I started in high school that’s full of poems, quotations, and later, when things get interesting, scraps of conversations. You can see my progression from “dimwit” to “person with some of a brain” by the choices of things I recorded (no one needs quotes from Gloria Vanderbilt, teenage Sally).

Some favorites:

“You’re so cute—I could puke!” 

This was yelled by a person whose friend I made out with/spurned roughly 8 hours previous. My boyfriend, with whom I reconciled immediately post-make out, and I were admittedly bebopping down the sidewalk holding hands and were likely fairly pukey. It’s one of the best things anyone has ever screamed at me on a public street.

“What if you decide not to go to your class but go to lunch instead? And what if you meet your lifelong mate at that lunch? And what if you had gone to class like you should have?” —-Dr. Edra Bogle

My world lit professor said this in 1992 and it deeply affected me. I’ve always gotten wigged out thinking of all the different versions of a life I could be living, and how tiny choices determine our fates, and then here’s old Dr. Bogle just confirming that I needed to skip class more often.

“I do not know how to let anything important happen to me.” —Rilke, in a letter to Clara, May 1910

For awhile I thought I could relate to this, which is why I wrote it down, but later it occurred to me that I’m responsible for pretty much everything important that’s ever happened to me. In books, people are just sitting around minding their own business when things happen to them, but this has never been the way things have rolled for me. (Outside of BAD things happening, of course. I interpret “important” to mean non-tragic.) I’m not saying I made the right choices or anything, but when it comes down to it I almost always have to start whatever it is: pulling a thread from a sweater that unweaves itself, sending an email, saying yes, opening the door.

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