Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I Am I Said

"I am," I said,
To no one there.
And no one heard at all.
Not even the chair…

Lately I’ve taken to listening to the old time radio station on my satellite radio. They broadcast radio shows from the past. There is a big variety, from comedy to drama, with the mystery and suspense programs being my favorite. I can almost see my grandparents gathered around the big radio in the blonde cabinet in their living room.

Before you think I’m really weird, remember I have an hour or so drive, each way to work. It’s an easy drive but the radio helps pass the time. These programs are much like listening to a book.

The other day I heard a tale, in the suspense category, according to the announcer, which was actually a short story by Ray Bradbury. After checking on the Internet I found out it’s a chapter in a book he wrote. The story was about an old woman, seventy-two, who saves all the memorabilia from her past. Her name is Mrs. Bentley. Seventy-two doesn’t seem all that old to me, but I guess back then it was. Anyway, two little girls come by and play in her yard one day. Being lonely, she calls to them to come up on her porch. They visit and Mrs. Bentley tells them that she was as young as they are once. The girls don’t believe it and argue with her. Then they say she’s lying and run away laughing. Mrs. Bentley is furious.

A few days later the girls are back. Mrs. Bentley calls them to the porch to show them some of the mementos she’s saved from her past, proving she was young as they once. The girls argue, saying the objects don’t prove a thing because she could have gotten them from anywhere. Frustrated, Mrs. Bentley insists that they too, will become old like she is one day. The girls grab her possessions and run from the porch, laughing as they go.

All of this makes Mrs. Bentley start to wonder about her childhood and her past. She looks through more of her souvenirs and hears the voice of her late husband speaking to her, explaining that the items no longer belong to her because they are from the past. She is no longer the person the items were saved for because she’s living now, in the present, and not in the past. None of the saved clothes will fit. The saved pictures don’t look like she looks now. They are not who she is today.

Finally, she understands and with the girls’ help, discards the tokens of her past. From that moment on she lives only in the present. The girls’ believe they were right and Mrs. Bentley was never young in a “million trillion years.”

For some reason this story really made me think. Perhaps it’s because I’m from a family of ‘savers’. Or maybe it’s because I heard and still hear the ‘remember when’ stories of my grandparents and parents past. Then again, maybe it’s because I’m the one who the girls would never believe was a little girl in a million trillion years.

I think that what happened in the past makes us who we are today, but, as Mrs. Bentley finds out, we aren’t that person. Think of a reunion. The cheerleaders are not cheerleaders any longer. The football stars are bald and overweight. Nobody looks like the picture in the yearbook. People who were close friends no longer know what the other likes, feels, thinks.

Remembering the past, loved ones who are gone, pleasant memories, is not a bad thing. Dwelling on the wrongs, the should haves, could haves and whys is not productive. Living for today may be the answer. We are who we are, because of who we were. But we can’t go back. I heard a quote in a movie once that stuck with me. “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present!” So, make the most of today and be who you are.

"I am," I cried.
"I am," said I.
And I am lost, and I can't even say why.
Leavin' me lonely still…

There’s a bead store in Odessa that offers different classes on things I’ve been interested in but never tried. I can read directions and even follow them fairly well, but sometimes I like for someone to show me first so I can actually see how something is done. I guess I’m mostly visual when it comes to learning. Anyway, recently I took a class on wire crochet jewelry. It was fun and very easy. It’s also very forgiving, since it’s wire instead of thread. I took some great pictures with my phone but my phone is crazy and they aren’t there. I have a few pictures in progress from my camera, that aren’t very good, but the finished product turned out okay! It’s three separate strands, braided and twisted together.

Three chains braided. Blurry but you get the jist...
Then you just kind of shape the necklace, because it is a little bit stiff. Not real stiff, but not flexible, like a chain.

A better picture.
Framed. Ha!
 I do plan to experiment and try some other bead and wire combinations. It’s fun and I’m trying things I never tried. I guess on class day I'm living for the day!

"I am," I said.
To no one there.
And no one heard at all…


  1. I love this post - such a good perspective!

    (and it goes without saying that I love the necklace!)

  2. Love the story! Reminds me if when my Gran would talk about old times when I was little. It sounded to me like she was hundreds of years old! Love your crochet jewellery, what a great idea for one if a kind beautiful items.