05 December 2010

December 3 - Moment

Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors).

Advent calendar says...fruitcake.

See? I told you this was coming.

I think it may actually be illegal to diss fruitcake in England, but let’s just say that if I had an exhilarating moment this year, fruitcake was off doing something vaguely gross with candied orange peel and couldn’t make the event. Aw, too bad.

Perhaps the general property of fruitcake will call up such a moment: a medley of textured pieces barely contained by crumbly, fragrant dessert.


Well this is awkward. I really can’t think of a moment this year where I felt notably 'alive,' to be honest. Maybe it was June, when we touched down at Vancouver airport and I knew that I had two full weeks to completely saturate myself in a familiar element. Actually, yes – let me tell you about that.

I was exhausted. I was more tired than I could remember ever feeling, and if you’d told me that this fatigue would be tripled upon landing in England a few weeks later, I might have torn up the return ticket then and there. But for now, I was holding a 23lb toddler who’d been forced to condense twelve hours of sleep into a three-hour nap (and looked it) whilst forming a kind of echo chamber of weak, plaintive sounds with Bruce, who was humping two toy/snack/technology-laden carry-on bags, second only to my hospital bag in their near uselessness.

We followed the current of other travelers through the filtered sunlit passages of the arrivals gate, and below us I could see the clean lines and familiar signage of optimistic industry, already promising a taste of the efficient, friendly customer experience that awaited us beyond the doors of this self-admittedly artificial environment.

Coming home always feels a bit like what I imagine returning from the dead might be like. You shrug off all earthly vestiges - the people, places and objects that once defined you as a person - and learn to accept that although these things still exist, they will never belong to you again. Your new home takes on the quality of a surreal afterlife, and turning up on your old doorstep to finger abandoned books and photographs, and to live superficially among friends and family as you once did, serves only to amplify the sense that you’re really just a friendly spook, haunting the halls of memory for a short time before you vanish again.

In the lead-up to this annual paradox, however, my life, my body, and the boundaries against which each were pushing were never more apparent to me.

Written in participation with #Reverb10

December 1st - One Word
December 2nd - Writing


Amy said...

I hate fruit cake. HATE! I'd rather eat turnips for desert.

Jackie said...

Yup, it's revolting. In retrospect I think it might have been Christmas pudding, which is essentially the same thing, only soggy. Or figgy? It's those little candied fruits that ruin it for me.