Saturday, December 13, 2008

sensory memories




It's been a while. I found this piece that I wrote sometime this summer in my documents tonight, and thought it was blog worthy.


The smell of zest triggers memories; zest reminds me of summer camp. In elementary school I went to camp every summer; the camp was named Indian Village and I was a proud to be in the Apache tribe. Every year, before leaving for camp my Mom would take me shopping for supplies: toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, not deodorant, I wasn't old enough for deodorant, sunscreen, bug repellent, and soap. It was always Zest soap. The problem with bar soap is that once you take it out of its original cardboard wrapping it is no longer a friendly travel companion. The only way to avoid an awful mess is to place it inside a plastic bag. However, in third grade keeping my soap in good condition was not high on my priority list - - there were rabbit furs to buy, lanyards to make, and games of capture the flag to play. Naturally by the end of the week my bar of Zest soap was pretty gnarly, with small rocks lodged into it, dirt spattered about it, giving it a sandpaper texture. Maybe even a small leaf would find its way onto my bar of Zest soap. It is interesting that this sea-foam green bar, designed to wash away dirt, was so prone to attracting and holding onto dirt itself. By Tuesday I would inevitably deem my bar useless and toss it into the black duffel bag containing all my clothes. Slowly but surely each garment would begin to take on the zesty aroma. And slowly but surely the smell of zest soap became connected with childhood and camp.

1 comment:

soulsong said...

You've left now I think, so there were no goodbyes here, but you should know I like you, and your Zest memories, and your novia, and your family.
Peace and growth over the excitement and pain to come. May you find another piece of yourself in Tanzania. Much love, Levi,
cari