Friday, May 15, 2009

Random Memory


I was in Newport Beach yesterday at a very expensive tennis club, liked you'd expect to find in Newport Beach. I was a guest obviously, and met a woman who like me had grown up sailing with her dad. There were a few flags flying overhead and the sound of the wind blowing the rope against the flagpole sounded just like when rigging on a boat hits the mast. If you've been around boats, you know it's a sound that you can't escape at the harbor. To me, it's music to my ears. It instantly relaxes me. Growing up, I spent almost every weekend at the harbor on our family's sailboat. The picture above is where our boat was docked. Beautiful, isn't it? I was so lucky to have grown up with such beautiful surroundings. We sailed to Catalina and took many day trips, but even if we never took the boat out, we would spend the weekend fixing something on it or cleaning it, etc. I should say my dad did that, while my sister and I laid on the dock getting suntans waiting for the BBQ to be ready. I have so many memories on that boat - some amazing, some not so great. One time, we sailed to Catalina and my dad dove into the harbor and found us some abalone for dinner which we cooked on the boat (seems I'm allergic to abalone, as we soon found out, but the experience was great!). My sister and I learned the hard way that Ban de Soliel orange gelee needs to be rubbed in evenly or you're likely to get fake tanned fingerprints on your legs. :)
When I was 10 years old, it was on that boat where my dad told my sister and I that he and my mom were separating. I remember thinking, "If you're leaving, why can't you take me with you?" But I never verbalized it. Not long after that, I remember sitting on the back of the boat with my feet in the water, and my Walkman cassette player on. My eyes were closed as I was listening to whatever new Elton John album had just come out, and in my mind I was lost in a song called Cold as Christmas. Every once in awhile, I hear a song that I would describe as "haunting". This was one of those for me. I remember thinking how it was so my parents, so much my family.

"The temperature's up to ninety five
But there's a winter look in your mother's eyes
And to melt the tears there's a heat wave here
So how come it's cold as Christmas in the middle of the year?"

I can't hear that song without going back to that boat, with my feet hanging over the edge into the water of Dana Point harbor. I can't hear the sounds of the harbor without remembering that song and that moment.

My parents divorce wasn't particularly traumatic for me, and neither was that moment. In fact, I remember feeling very peaceful then - the feeling of the water and the music and the sun so perfect. It does surprise me, however, the vividness of that memory.

5 comments:

John said...

I sometimes wonder if there's a channel of sorts that links the distance between your heart and your mind and when a moment like the one you've described happens, both parts are engaged and somehow a 'save' button is pushed.

Whatever the case may be, you have captured this one well and were kind to share it.

Jenni said...

Beautiful.

I've been to Dana Point and was captivated. You are lucky to have experienced so much of it.

What a great story!

indavao said...
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tagskie said...
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