Sunday, January 23, 2005

My parents are playing musical houses in Oceanside--my dad was living in my mom's house while she was living in an apartment in San Diego; he moved into his own townhouse in Oceanside last weekend, and my mom moved into the house today. I drove down to Oceanside to see them and help out with the move. At some point, I went outside to get in my dad's car, and one of the movers handed me a folded piece of paper. "I think this is your mom's," he said before he got in the truck. I opened it up, and it was the report card from my 8th grade journalism class! 8th grade was probably (no, make that definitely) the worst year of my life, but my journalism class--which I had completely forgotten about until today--was a refuge. The teacher, Mrs. Kurz, had written:

"Gayle does outstanding work and participated in all phases of writing, layout, and sales. It was a pleasure to work with her. I plan to enter her article on the art mural in the Columbia student contest."

I don't remember anything about the sales aspect of the class--sales is still something I am trying to make peace with in my writing/publishing life--but I am starting to remember that article about the mural. A WPA mural had been uncovered in a local school, and I researched it, spoke to local historians, and watched as the rest of the drywall covering the mural was removed. The painting had been covered up because it was considered too "communist", the workers depicted on the mural too somber. It was a great moment, one that made me feel as if I was part of something bigger than myself, bigger than my own personal angst (which was raging that year.) I remember the article had to do with censorship and free expression, topics that are still so important to me today.

It's so wild that I happened to be walking by the mover just as he discovered the paper on the floor of the truck, that the page happened to be about my writing self instead of a report card of a math class or a receipt from a hair cut. It feels like a sign, somehow. I'm not quite sure what it means yet, but I'm going to try to listen to any cues...

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