Tuesday, March 20, 2012

on a long lost love.

for my 18th birthday, right after i had graduated high school, my boyfriend gave me a first edition copy of "the sound and the fury", my favorite book by my favorite author. it was a sweet gift, and a thoughtful one. it is one of the few gifts from i've kept from a love i've moved on from. i was recently cleaning out my desk when i happened upon it, and took a moment to read the note he had written for me, which started with this quote.
"there is no frigate like a book to take us to lands away. nor any couriers like a page of prancing poetry. this traverse may the poorest take without oppress of toll. how frugal is the chariot that bear the human soul." -- emily dickinson
and with that he wished that i would enjoy the journey, the book's story, many times.
as i read this, almost ten years later in my tiny new york city studio apartment, i wish i could tell him, and my younger self, about all the journeys i had enjoyed since then. that while innocence is beautiful, it is not life. i had yet to experience a broken heart, or fall madly in love, travel to a foreign country, hear about the death of a friend, drink a glass of wine, break the standards i had set for myself, spend a whole day wandering a city i lived in, or wear a smashing, truly smashing, pair of heels. i want to tell them both so badly about all of these journeys and more. but i can't. and in my memory they both go on - my younger self thanks him for the book, they begin to eat dinner - oblivious to all of the painfully exquisite life that is waiting for them. and i know it is better that way. for them not to know. they'll get there one day. and they'll live it one day. and for as transporting as words and books can be, there is nothing better than that.

14 comments:

  1. I love looking back and thinking what I'd say to my younger self. Life is a journey and an adventure, for sure! The post high school and early adult years are such a formative time, too. I feel like soooo much has happened to me in the last 10 years!

    Also, your high school bf was waaaay more romantic than mine... I always got snowboard stuff for gifts! Still have some of that gear, too!

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    1. I know! looking at the gift now it was pretty impressive for a 17-year-old.

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  2. Shivers, Colleen. Super shivers.

    Loved this one.

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  3. Yes, better things were to come...but wow, pretty deep for a high school boyfriend. Well done.

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  4. Way to go, high school bf! Books are such amazing gifts, especially ones that bring back such vivid emotions like this one did.

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  5. Oh what I would give to have a chat with my younger self! Ha! I thought I knew it all back then! This was a really beautiful post, I have never read this book so I will be checking it out on Amazon now (by the way, my first bf gave me a mixed Scatman tape... nothing says love like Scatman).

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    1. haha - this made me laugh. nothing does say love like that ;)

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  6. beautiful gift! and beautiful quote about books :) loved this post!

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  7. Wow, can't believe that a hs bf thought of that. Sounds like he was quite an interesting guy. This was a great post (and so true).

    *Erin

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  8. What an amazing gift! I'm so glad you kept it and didn't get rid of it, like other past love presents. And I love that quote - really, a super thoughtful gift. I've never really thought about what things I would go back and tell my younger self, but now that I'm thinking about it there's quite a few things I would make mention of.

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  9. Such a sweet gift from a hs boyfriend! I love his note inside. I would tell my younger self a lot of things-but I need to become older to tell my younger self more! ;)

    xx

    Erin @ http://www.trufflesnruffles.com/

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  10. I think about my younger self quite often... more in the sense that I know SO much more now than I did then, but at the time I didn't know I didn't know anything. Glad you held onto that gift. It's a sweet one.

    Love this post - so well written!

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  11. You are such a lovely writer...I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. And what a sweet, thoughtful gift from an 18 year old boy! Pretty sure the only gifts I got at that age were pink carnations and a grope attempt. Alright, I'll stop mucking up this post now.

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    1. haha - oh i got those too, don't worry! it wasn't all dickinson quotes and old books. (and, p.s. he was literally the cheapest soul alive. ever. that's why he gave me an old book).

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