Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dream: My Lost Papers

Last night I dreamed of walking in a museum in Birmingham. The exhibit theme was “letters, notes, and scraps of paper found in circulated library books.” The display items, various slips of paper, were placed in rows and rows of cubbyhole boxes which were open for anyone to reach inside. I picked up several pieces of paper and skimmed the writing there. I was strangely pleased that four of the items I picked up were in my own loose handwriting from different eras of my life. Among my lost papers were poems partially written, notes written to pass among friends in grade school, letters I’d folded and attempted to preserve with Scotch tape plastered to the creases, research notes from reference books, and grocery/to do lists. I experienced a sense of pride at finding my own writing displayed among this collection, as if my writings were as important as the manuscripts of John Lennon, T.S. Eliot, or Jerry Seinfeld. Perhaps this dream originated from my recent experiences at the Emory University research library where they have in their collections significant batches of manuscripts by such poetic greats as Ted Hughes and Seamus Heaney. Also my parents who are preparing to sell their house in New York called me the other day to tell me that they found boxes I’d stashed away in the attic. Among the items they found were my high school yearbooks (which I’d given up for lost), Star Wars action figures, and my set of Hardy Boys books.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Having once worked as a page in the Birmingham Public Library, I am very aware how much interesting material ends up in circulated library books as bookmarks and just misplaced documents. I can remember many an hour standing in the page room sorting books and sharing with my fellow pages the various treasures we'd come across in the books. The reminds me of a game we used to play we called Juxtaposition, reading aloud the curious combinations that would sometimes appear on the side-by-side on the shelf with two or more adjacent books.