Flickr launched a new feature this week, something they call Collections. It’s a way to create sub-sets, (folders within sets). This means that I could, for example, create a collection called Local Events and fill it with sets like Avery’s Video Game Party, Ikea Adventures, and Flashmob Croquet. It’s likely going to be a long and tedious process for me to switch everything over to the new system, (I have an inhuman amount of photos), but I expect it to be worth the effort. Now if only they would announce, like Livejournal, that permanent accounts will be available for sale soon.
I watched new parents on the Skytrain today, smiling, as all three were young, attractive and happy. Suddenly, a brass thought ship-wrecked whole in my mind – “My father was never that young.” It surprised me, but it feels true. He sprang into the world fully formed at age 35 and only got older from there. I remember him smiling, but even before he went mad, he always looked tired.
Imagining my mother young is easy. I am almost the same age she was when she had me. I thought of standing at the bus-stop, hands on my belly, feeling a hard curve there, cradling The Word inside me, and I knew that she felt happy where I would feel trapped, as if my feet had been pierced through with tent-pegs. She has never been hungry the way I am, her aspirations have always pointed in a different direction, but still I can see her in my mind, thin, almost conventionally pretty, and tenaciously practicing the same six chords on the guitar until her fingers bled, until she grew callous, then bled again. The first day I kicked in her belly must have been a small personal miracle, like branches swaying Yes after you’ve asked the sky a question.
It’s my brother Cale’s 17th birthday today. She named him after J.J. Cale but got the date wrong on the birth certificate and they made her fill it out again. We are not the most cohesive family, but biology links us together irrevocably. He is stuck with us, carries us on every official document he’ll ever have to take the time to fill out and carry. See, I gave him his middle names – he’s Cale St. Patrick Gibson – and wear green every year in atonement.