If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things

“You must always look with both of your eyes and listen with both of your ears. He says this is a very big world and there are many many things you could miss if you are not careful. There are remarkable things all the time.” –Jon McGregor [If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things]

I was thinking I would like to write, but I was unsure about what to do so.

Nothing has happened to me that you haven’t already read: wake up, thank Jesus, drink coffee, work at the magazine, work at the desk, go home, go to sleep. When it’s written out like that, it seems so monotonous. When I’m sitting behind a desk, it (sometimes) seems so monotonous. There’s only so many times I can tell you that the desk is great because LIFE IS GOOD before it sounds like I’m lying (which I’m not.)

As I was thinking about what to write, what to write, I began thumbing through some of the photos on my phone. Maybe this comes as a surprise, but I’m betting fairly heavily that it doesn’t: I take a lot of photos. My friends often do that half-laugh thing when they see me balancing my coffee cup in front of the ocean because who doesn’t want a photo of that? I’ll also often insist that they “get together!” interrupting the moment so I can capture the moment, which seems counterproductive. Anyway, I got sort of sucked into flipping through my photos–and I have a lot–and I kept coming across ones I didn’t remember. I would sort of chuckle and wonder, “When did we take that?”

And then, it comes back to me, first in snips and slices, and then in full-blown memories. We are outside of the football stadium; the lines are long, the air chilly, the faces funny.

We are holed up at the lake. We thought it would be a girls weekend, but the boys came along. I looked over and had to say, “Hold still a sec.”

He walks up to me and says in his best Urkel voice, “Hey Lindsey, I’m a nerd like you!”

She catches my joke and it works; just what I’ve been trying to do happens: She laughs. “You’re beautiful,” I say.

It’s past midnight, and so we’re an hour into a brand-new year, but our feet hurt and we could use some water. First, though, we have to call and tell everyone else we made it to 2012 first, thanks to the Eastern time zone.

It’s raining; it’s raining hard. But we’re already in our pajamas, we have nothing to lose, so we decide to sit on the porch and listen to the rain. Because we work together, we’ve got plenty of material just being together and—you make me laugh.

“You guys are cute,” I say. Let me tell you again, I’m your biggest fan.

There’s more; so much more. Before I know it, I’m laughing, I’m remembering, I’m grateful for them, for the laughter, for the photos. I’m happy I stopped us because something seemed remarkable. I’m happy the remarkableness of it is painted for me in pixels. I’m happy that when the memories get pushed into the far-backish convolutions of my mind, I can lure them back when I want.

I am not nostalgic in the least. I am just happy. But I wrote all of this to confess this: I understand what Nickelback means when they (I don’t even know who the they is here) sing, “Look at this photograph / every time I do it makes me laugh.” But just for that, here’s five top-notch songs to make me feel better about quoting Nickelback:

Slow and Steady by Of Monsters and Men / The Dress Looks Nice on You by Sufjan Stevens / Maps by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs / The Fear by Ben Howard / Simple Song by The Shins, which says, “This is just a simple song / to say what you’ve done.”

To say you’re remarkable. It’s (mostly) all remarkable.

It makes me happy. It is remarkable, and I will shout it from the rooftops.

But first, I will take a picture.




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