Thursday, July 14, 2011
the soft things
he used to get people, then sports illustrated. sometimes forbes. occasionally, an alumni magazine would weave its way into the pile. but there have always been two staples in this treasure trove: reader's digest and reminisce.
and while i appreciate reader's digest for the clean jokes, the recipes and the pocket-sized motivation, it is reminisce that has captivated me. a magazine devoted to days gone by, with polariods and advertisements for products no one uses anymore.
long before i loved vintage. before i swooned over images of high-waisted bathing suits and pretty pin curls. when i was just a girl in middle school. with too much free time on my hand, a journal and a pen in my purse at all times, and romantic fancies dancing in my not-yet-seasoned heart.
i read a line in reminisce once that has stuck with me. i carried this line into my little cottage, and remember it often. i can't recall the exact phrasing, but an elderly man had written to the magazine about his wife who had passed away.
he said, she valued the soft things in life. like cooking, gardening and crossword puzzles.
every time i stand over a sink full of dishes, or a boiling pot of water. every time i tuck pablo in his doggie bed and say a prayer over him. every time i get up early just to curl my hair and eyelashes, paint a little magenta on my lips and iron that new skirt. i feel it. when i drag robert out at night with a flashlight just to look at the strawberry plant and its white flowers. when i get down on my knees and pull weeds from the bushes and carry them out to the woods.
i feel the soft things. and i think i'd like someone to say that about me one day. and i think its the most moving tribute i've come across. the most romantic notion. at my worst, i can be hard. i can be bossy and mean and rude and disappointing. but i can also be terribly soft. and it's that which i want remembered.