I was at Barnes and Noble the other day looking at a book that had creative non-fiction exercises in it. They were all really interesting and focused primarily on helping the writer remember his or her past. That's an interesting thing for me, because thinking on it, I find that swatches of my past have just disappeared from my memory. I suppose a bit of this is normal, as we are filled up with so much information through out our lives. But it's had me thinking a lot about the details of my past.
One of the first things that I remember of my early childhood is that in our house in the dining room there was a closet with louvered doors. For whatever reason, I thought that this closet was an amazing place to play and hide out, so I spent quite a bit of time in it. It was my pretend elevator, a substitution for the elevators at Lazarus department store down town, which was the fanciest place in existence to a little toddler girl in Columbus, OH. I could hear the mysterious "ding, ding" sounds that signaled employees to certain jobs and would imagine I was going to visit the Talking Tree in Santaland, the highlight of any child's trip downtown at the time.
I had a book about bees, and I remember sitting in that closet scrunched up in the corner looking at the pages of that picture book in awe. There was one page that was completely filled with a photo of a bee colony in the hive, and while I found this page endlessly fascinating, I always harbored a fear that somehow one of those bees would come to life and sting me. I'd never been stung at that point, but it wasn't something I really wanted to find out about.
I liked the space behind those white louvered doors. It was quiet, cozy, and enveloped me like a giant cocoon. It was the perfect place for an introverted, imaginative dreamer to while away the time. There are times that I wish I could have moved that closet around with me to escape to, to hear the long gone "ding, ding" over the department store speakers.