I’m a jotter. Sounds kind of funny, right? But, it’s what I do – I think of something for a poem, a short story, or even just some random blog post and I jot it down. Usually it’s in the most random of places. Post-it notes, corners of journals, notes from class, a napkin at dinner that I discretely write on and tuck into my wallet like a bad habit you’re ashamed of and don’t want to explain to your friends that you still do. If you name it, there’s probably some little blurb of randomness written down somewhere. What I find most interesting is when I find a blurb written down from several months ago and have no idea what it meant. Sometimes I sit there and read it over and over again trying to remember why I wrote it myself, or what I was thinking about. Despite it being my thought, I’m just as lost as anyone else who would have read it. It would be much like the blurb I found this morning, tucked up underneath my phone at work on a Post-it note, it read: “Green bunnies would be funny since they eat carrots.” Huh?
There was another that I found in the corner of a notebook about a week ago that said, “Haunted Houses are dumb. Murders the fun of being scared.” Don’t ask. I don’t know.
Then of course, I have my notebook. My notebook of craziness where I write down what ever comes to my mind. There are some very beautiful, poetic and lyrical messages in there, but then there are just random thoughts of insanity. I think the reason I write is to keep the thoughts from manifesting into life-like realities. If I write them down, then the thought has been given life and therefore will stop running around aimlessly in my head. Like the blurb, “The ebb and flow of monotony gives place to pernicious longing of deliberate loss” that was written next to “Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder, it’s in their heart.” I have no idea what the first means, but it felt good writing it down in the inside of my purple, leather bound notebook with dim, light blue lines that I pay no attention to as I write horizontally and vertically with my blue, ink jet pen.
Then there is this, a thought that I think of often: “There’s always hope, we just need a lighthouse to guide us safely home.”
My Pop is a fisherman and he loves the sea. I’ve grown up going to the beach every summer as a kid, learning to swim in the ocean and learning to respect the sea. My Grandparents had me in the ocean when I wasn’t even able to talk yet. The would hold me in the ocean waves over the summer breaks and let me run through the surf. As I grew older, Nonnie and Pop taught me about under toe, currents, jelly fish, swimming in the ocean, what to do and what not to do. They taught me that if I ever get tired that I’m to lay on my back and let the waves push me into shore. They taught me that fighting against the current was a sure way to lose and that the sea is much more tireless than I could prove to be. They told me to never go deeper than I could touch with my feet flat on the floor while keeping my head above the water and they taught me to never, ever swim alone.
I remember one summer, a summer that would prove to be one of my last with my grandparents as I grew into the adolescent stage of my life with summers filled with friends and not grandparents.
I was walking down the beach with my Nonnie after dinner with the stars twinkling delicately above the salty sea. We were walking and hardly saying anything to one another, but listening as the waves came in and out. We watched as the little sand crabs scuttled into their holes as we passed with our flash lights and laughed as they put their claws out to threaten us from coming any closer. As I got older it became a good time to walk and talk with her about the questions of life. It’s funny, the yearly evolution of those walks as I aged. When I was small, the walk was about how far I could push my Nonnie before I was finally too wet from the waves for her to protest my swimming. Then it became the walk of how many little sand crabs I could catch with my bucket. It then turned into longer, more mature walks, in the wet sand that felt more like a sidewalk, and away from the ebb and flow of the waves crashing in. I remember this so vividly because it was the last walk we had on the beach together before my hectic life took over and prevented me from spending time with them down at the beach.
We were walking, and it was chilly. She was always so smart to bring a heavy sweater with us, even though it was July in Florida, but Nonnie always knew best. Of course, we started the walk and about three minutes into it, I asked her if I could have the sweater that she was conveniently carrying on her shoulder. She knew I would ask for it, and looking back I now know that she always carried it just for me. She was such an amazing, thoughtful woman. As we walked down the beach with the wet sand cold beneath my bare toes I realized we had walked further than we ever had before. We had walked passed the peer, as it was a little speck behind us in the moonlight, and the light house was shining brightly ahead of us in the distance. The light turned round, and round, in the open night sky shinning brightly to all who noticed it. I realized I must have been staring at it instead of at my feet as I walked, or the ocean, or the night sky because Nonnie said, “There’s always hope, we just need a lighthouse to guide us safely home.”
I just smiled back at her, and we started talking about all the things that a normal thirteen year old girl goes through. We turned around not too long after she commented on the light house and headed back for the beach house. I remember that night, not only for the big sweater, the chilly night air with the cloudless, star filled night, but because without a story, without preaching or teaching, Nonnie gave me advice that has stuck with me. Sometimes, when I’m so far away from shore, and I don’t know what to do or where to go, I know that there is a lighthouse out there, providing me with some hope, and ready to guide me safely home. Sometimes that light house is a somebody; sometimes its a decision or a thought, and sometimes it’s simply about finding yourself. But in the end, there is always a light house shinning bright waiting to guide you home, always faithfully there for you.
She was my lighthouse, and even though she’s gone, her wisdom still shines bright and I still go back to her for help.
…and all this — just from a little blurb.