a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Archive for teachers

adrift in memory

< by Jill >

Sometimes it’s hard to discern whether my memories are snapshots of authentic experiences or stories I’ve been told my whole life. Sometimes, I catch a glimmer of a memory and it draws up other recollections, the same way velcro snags a sweater and pulls out stitches. The initial thought — whether authentic or imposed — subsides as the other threads emerge. And it’s these smaller threads, the ones that have been slowly knitted into me, that I know, for sure, are real.

I genuinely don’t remember stashing scarves or ski masks in the snowbank (as Ann recounted on Monday), but I do remember this: Daydreaming in physics class, laying my head on my desk and catching sight of something in the window. At first I thought the sun had alighted on a cloud of dust, but then I saw that it wasn’t dust, but snow! The first snow!

I leaped from my seat and toward the window. I rested my hands on the sill — cold to the touch — and watched the snowflakes lilt and pitch like tufts of cottonwood. The teacher’s voice broke the moment: “JILL! Get back in your seat!”

This snapshot is vivid in my head, though the bookends are blank. All too often, I rely on my friends and family to fill in the gaps, but when they shrug, it’s a reminder to root myself in the moment and lock it up for the future.