Sunday, December 23, 2007

Abby and the Magic Wurlitzer

We're home. Well, the house I grew up in at least. My parents have lived in the same home for almost 35 years now. They moved in when I was almost 2. It's a home steeped in family folklore and being in it conjures up all sorts of nostalgia and wistfulness. Something sad, too. Of time fleeting?

The blustery weather helps fuel this sadness. I woke up at 6:00 and listened to the sound of rain thrashing at the windows and the howling wind. When the sun came up, its light was diluted and made murky by a settlement of gray. This house, my parents house, is filled with my past. In the basement there are letters from friends dating back to grade school. I open random drawers and find pictures of my grandparents, of birthday parties in the backyard, of Christmas mornings from 30 years ago. I don't know what to do with all this. I wanted to make a documentary of it, try and make sense of all the emotions such artifacts stir up--but I feel overwhelmed and that, in turn, makes me feel listless. Or maybe it's all the cookies I've been eating and the sugar crash that always follows in their wake.

I'm at the library. It's quiet and they have internet access. It's another place where old ghosts linger but it doesn't impose its will so strongly.

Beyond the inchoate undertow of saudade, is Abby. Shes storms right through it, a little high octane engine of curiosity and demanding joy. My Dad's Wurlitzer, too. It wheezes and churns to life while its kick drum and trombones shake the entire house. Abby loves it and so do I.

No comments: