Sunday, November 22, 2009

Peeking at the Past

Trudie, a friend from my college days, posted a comment in response to a recent blog that sounded as if she could see one of the photos hanging on Mark's office wall all the way from her home on our nation's east coast. The photo is a personal favorite: a black and white, 11x 14 of me singing "New York, New York," while dressed in an 80s-era white jumpsuit."

A friend named Patrick Simmons took the photo; and I remember feeling grateful that he'd captured the moment, for I had not wanted the song to end. If I could, I'd have hung that note – that night – in the air forever. Because of Pat's photo, it sorta has.

But, that was 1985, and since then, the photo has only existed on Mark's wall and the pages of a Wartburg College Fortress yearbook. Trudie's e-comment this week prompted me to go to Mark's office, take the framed print down and scan it into my computer so the image can exist in the digital realm, maybe forever. Right?

But a funny thing happened on my way to the scanner. I found a paper hanging from the same nail as the framed photo, hidden behind it apparently since 2004 – according to the date on the paper. It was a print out of a memory I'd posted on a message board known as Millaweb, a forum for Waldorf alumni and friends who are all somehow connected to Brian Miller, class of 1998. My memory - a contribution to a thread topic on romantic memories - described the first Valentine's Day Mark and I shared in 1985, two days before our first kiss.

That five-year-old paper is evidence that Mark also tries to capture memories, and interestingly, he's now given me a new romantic memory to treasure: finding his hidden archive.

Our differences are striking. Mark constantly cautions me to live in the moment because life is perishable, while I constantly collect moments to relive so they won't have fully perished. He secretly archives memories, while I post them for the world.

I hope our differences deepen our alliance, keeping us fascinated about the history we've shared while anticipating a future we are creating moment by memorable moment. I guess I'll find out when Mark discovers that I've now posted his hidden memory for the whole world to see.

I simply can't help myself.

While I had not forgotten our first Valentine's Day, I had forgotten that I'd once shared the story with others. Thanks to Mark, I again have the story for safe keeping as I told it in 2004, because Millaweb – once a lively forum for Brian's college cohorts and colleagues – has become his personal place of preservation, a home for photos and stories of his young family's perishable moments. As it should be. (And, come on, alliteration is fun, yes?)

Therefore, I must post my memory of our first Valentine's Day again – this time in a digital realm that might outlast the paper that's still hanging behind the photo on Mark's office wall – because we need to peek at the past every once in a while, don't we. We need to cherish moments as we live them, for life is perishable - each minute as fleeting as the next.

So capture your cherished moments. Suspend them in time anyway you know how, for one day you'll appreciate the capacity they have to propel you into the future, bolstered by the formidable fuel that is your invincible past.


My First Valentine’s Love

Once, when I was a junior in college, I was on my dorm floor making fun of all the girls who were being visited by the floral delivery guy. When the guy ventured onto our floor again (for like the fifth time) a couple other girls and I started taunting him: “You’re back? So who’s it for this time? Don’t you have anything better to do?”

Well, he said: “These are for someone named Joy.”

Man, did those girls turn on me! I had no idea that this very cute guy I worked with as a singing waiter was planning to send me a dozen roses! I’m certain I blushed; I know I was very embarrassed. Best of all, the card read: “Friends are Friends Forever.” (See … I’d been telling the girls that we were “just friends.”)

Needless to say I started to pay even closer attention to this man with an incredible smile who’d spent dozens of evenings lingering while saying goodnight, but never once attempting a goodnight kiss. Insanely enough, he’d managed to have me fall in love with his voice, then become increasingly intrigued by all other aspects of him simply by driving me home, hanging out to eat boatloads of chocolate (hot chocolate with chocolate truffle mousse topped with Hershey’s kisses was a favorite), and arguing about whether or not women should be ministers.

Yes, those girls were at our wedding and still hold a very special place in my heart. They are probably the last ones to see me as a young woman whose life was fully her own and the first ones to see what it meant for me to become blissfully attached to someone forever.

*leaving to go find Mark*


alex said...

I always loved seeing this photo in Marks office, it showed me a side of you that at the time I didn't know you had. I love that you are still finding things out about each other, that there are still surprises after all the years together, I hope the same will be true for Victoria and I.
~Alex D.

Joy said...

Thanks, Alex!

Blessings to you and Victoria. It's always fun to see your FB updates.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Carolyn said...

Hmmm.....was I one to taunt the floral delivery guy? Possibly....