This past weekend, while driving five hours south, taking in the familiar (clean) smell of my childhood bedroom, and then driving five hours north again, I wrote about seventy-five could-have-been posts in my brain. I’m sorry to brag, but they were brilliant.
It was kind of like that time I mentally composed an entire novel when trekking across a narrow strip of land high above the Mekong River, a path on which—I later learned—several people had taken their last steps. Had I put these words on paper they probably would have become a best-seller, and now I cannot even remember anything about them. All I remember was that I was inspired by my fear of heights, The Grateful Dead, and the possibility that within days my waterlogged feet would certainly be amputated. I knew I wasn’t supposed to step in that little stream of water running next to the narrow strip of land, but I did it anyway. On the other side was a vertical drop; hundreds of feet below was the soothing sound of whitewater. I’ve never been so physically scared in my life.
My feet were actually fine (thank goodness), but, at the end of the first day of that two-day trek, we did meet a guy who accidentally chopped off his finger. I gave him some gauze from my first aid kit; I was hoping it was all going to be all right. In the morning, we took him to a hospital. I don’t know how many fingers he has today.
Maybe, someday, something otherwise hidden (or stored, perhaps) will come out of my brain. Maybe, someday, I’ll know how to make every room smell like home. Maybe that smell will take me back to my childhood bedroom, and maybe it will take me to wherever I just may happen to be inhaling (through the nose, of course, because I’ll probably still be doing yoga, I hope).
I’m obviously breathing in through my nose right now (something as a child I swore was personally impossible); I can think of nothing but how un-homelike my apartment smells. I guess, tonight, I’ll just thank my feet and trust that soon they will make this room smell differently.
(I think I’m experiencing one of those go backward to go forward kinds of things. Thank goodness I could read the message; I’m sure you got it before I did. But you’re probably not so distracted by the smell of your room.)