All things come to a beginning

Sunday, September 24, 2006

See and be scene

My dentist is not doing a great job at rewarding me for coming to see him once a year, like a good patient. When I went in about a year ago, I found myself in the hospital the following morning to get two wisdom teeth pulled - I was nauseous and miserable and looked ridiculous for over a week (Those who saw me know all too well). When I went again last week, he gave me the following rhetorical gem: "Miss, how do you feel about extraction?". Awesome. Tooth number 3 came out, the final one is due in about a month. And again, I look preposterous. A face only a mother could love. And thankfully, she does. Nonetheless, I spent a big chunk of my weekend holed up in my room. Hours and hours of one of my favorite activities: scrapbooking! I use these tiny adhesive stickers for my pictures, and I went through about 2500 of them. That's scary. BUT all of my Canada experience and most of my summer has now been documented for posterity. And I knew if I didn't get that done now, before school starts, it would drag on for ages.

So strange to see months and months of my life summarized in a few albums. It's very hard to create something that does it justice - I know with my Denmark albums I did this whole colour scheme thing, and added a bunch of "local" stuff like magazine covers and shopping lists...it helps, but it's never quite right. The most frustrating part is knowing that eventually the album will be what I actually remember. All the people and days and street corners that I have no photos or ticket stubs or other memorabilia of will slowly fade into oblivion. And eventually Canada will take on the form of the stories I choose to tell, and of the visual evidence I bothered to bring home - rather than the real deal. It becomes a tableau, a fictionalized version of events, filtered very selectively through my eyes: no mentioning of completely uneventful days, no unflattering pictures, no recollection of sitting on the edge of the bath tub crying my eyes out or of leaving a class having spoken to absolutely no one.

That being said, there are plenty of occasions where I thoroughly enjoy playing my role, consciously thwarting things. To the point where I don't like being taken out of it. Yesterday night, my parents and I went to the Botanical Gardens here, for the opening night of the cultural season. Candles everywhere, dancers, singers, flamenco music, jazz, poetry readings, theatre, percussion...beautiful. But whenever I go to see something, I want to be the audience, the spectator. I don't like being told to clap in a certain rhythm (like they did at the tango concert I saw in Brussels last week, with Jen, Tom & Liesbeth), being spoken to from the stage (you'll never see me sit front row at a stand up comedy show), anything like that. I want to sit or stand and I want to watch and listen. I want to let my mind wander, turn the performance into something personal, into what I would like it to be. And I can't do that, or less well, when I'm being directed and guided in a certain direction. That just makes me feel selfconscious - I don't know if it's me, but I generally feel like an idiot singing or clapping in synch with the rest of the audience. Just let me take it in, read it and see it how I want to.

2 Comments:

Blogger al said...

sofie, you forget that other people have captured you and your time in their memories. i think this is why it is so wonderful to get together with old friends and to reminisce. i love that feeling when someone remembers something that you completely forgot, but, as they speak it, you remember too. reason number 130495 to keep good, old friends a part of your life.

so, i promise to remember some things you forget and you can do the same for me.

5:14 AM  
Anonymous Marilisa said...

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.

Shakespeare was a wise man :)
In the end you can only hope to just play yourself... and that is, dearest, thé true'est leading role! So start clapping and singing like an idiot, but do it your own way, create your own rhythm, even out of synch. Take that in, make people read that and let them see how you want it!

Then your personal experience will be your own personal performance.
Life’s a stage and your private spotlight’s on you!

(And girl… it is SHINING!)

xje for the girl who’s pretty even when she looks like a gofer after tooth pulling and extracting :)!

3:22 PM  

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