A guest post by K.B
Scent, smell, taste, touch, sound...
Each of these wonderful senses has a way of taking us back- the song that was playing when you kissed that boy you really liked, the smell of your eighth grade victoria secret lip gloss, the taste of soft serve icecream from the shore, the feel of that old college sweatshirt, the sight of the first blossoms of spring...
For me, however, my senses are often overcome by my love of words. I associate memories with simply uttered words, sentences and delicisous syllabic phrases - those sorts of utterances that kick you in the gut, surprise you, embarass you or delight you.
Most often, my "word memories" come from books - I read a phrase which sends my mind in a memory rollercoaster, turning me upside down and leaving me catatonicly replaying my life.
Recently, I began re-reading the books of my little life - those childhoold books filled with whimsical nonsense, but which - lo and behold! - contain deeper messages. In particular, I began to re-read a favorite childhood author, Shel Silverstein. Mr. Silverstein and I had a lovely relationship in my youth - he spoke in non-sensical rhymes, I saw the world in weird, wonderful ways...a wonderful escape tool when you are a child of a broken home.
During my most recent encounter with Shell, I re-read Where the Sidewalk Ends and was taken back to a very specific moment in my life. The moment I met Trish (I will, however, spare you the details of how we exactly met as thats a story for over drinks). At the time of our first meeting, I was 13, motherless and shattered. I, because of the actions of those who loved me, lost a childhood and became an adult far too soon. In addition, I was something of a nomad - I changed schools three times in three years and was ripped from home to home. Ultimately - I lost friends, family members and hope I was someone important. While we weren't close friends that year, Trish sent me a message (uttered through hilarious phrases I taunt her with to this day) that I was better than I thought of myself - that I could not settle for less than I deserved in life. Naturally, this was about a boy - but the message settled deep in my heart like a seed in fresh soil.
And so...just when I thought my sidewalk - my childhood, my carefree life - had ended...I received fresh air.
My friendship with Tricia didn't bloom until later in high school - we were friendly, of course, but our paths didn't forge until a little while down the road - while we were dressed in matching (actually triplicate with another dear friend) costumes for a school play. It was in giggling over our "creampuff" like attire, sharing a dressing room, gossiping about boys and pretending we were musical dancing sensations that we became ironed together. It was during this time that I learned what it felt like to be fifteen, carefree and, quite frankly, immature. I loved every second of the time I spent with T, she made me feel okay to be who I was (and still am)- a little strange, a little vulgar, and a lot nerdy. She also wore overalls in high school like I did - though she could make them look actually cool.
Over the next twelve years (yes, its been that long), we witnessed some really beautiful victories for eachother, picked eachother up after some wicked falls and have come to the conclusion that there is very little that can't be cured after time on a couch with an old friend or a glammed out night of dancing. I've learned so much from Trish, too many lessons to count, and I value her for her teaching - which so many of you experience on her blog. But for me, the most beautiful part of our friendship is the way she makes me feel - young, ambitious and full of life. She's shown me to look at the world child-like - never childish - with open eyes, a kind heart and a taste for adventure.
There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.
Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.
Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends.
Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends