I watch movies with my students, usually after we've read the novel, play, or short story the movie was based on. some of these movies I have seen so often, I tell my students I have no idea anymore what felt when I first watched them. I've lost that initial inspiration, but that first love has grown into a deep admiration for what I'm showing them semester after semester. I ditch films now and again, but I haven't managed to break up with American Beauty or Hamlet (Mel Gibson version, sorry, I know, not a favorite of all).
I've been thinking, though, about those first views, those first sightings of films, of people, of things, and I realized that while I can't recall the movie theater and the moment of watching American Beauty, I've captured for myself images of the first sight I've had of people who became important for me. It's like a little photo album in my head. Even though most of these relationships grew and developed and changed, I have held onto that first view in a way I haven't been able to with movies:
My former spouse riding up toward the apartment building on his bike, shorts in December, tan, dark hair, great legs. We didn't know what helmets were back then, and his hair was almost black, short, curly.
Both boys being born, but my oldest was put in my arms and turned sharply to me, his eyes wide open in that first-hour-of-life alertness.
Marissa running up the stairs to her apartment, Karin in the hallway at school, Susan walking toward me surrounded by students, Julie as we leave a meeting in one of the temporary buildings at work, Sue sitting at the pool looking like an Italian movie star.
Michael walking down the steps at Rockridge BART and crossing the street, headed toward me.
Causes Jessica Inclán Supports
Women for Women International Goodwill Industries Lindsey Wildlife Museum Freecycle.org