Monday, July 18, 2011

Does this light "belong" to a Sunday or a Wednesday?

What does Sunday mean to you?

I associate sounds and smells very strongly with certain events or periods of my life, or even something as regular as a day of the week. I could probably tell you exactly what year a certain pop song was on the radio. I could tell you which middle school dance I heard it at. I have playlists of songs, labeled by school year, on my iPod I dare not listen to too many times out of a fear of tarnishing my instinctive reactions to these songs and the memories they're attached to.

Little things make me think fondly (and idealistically) on things that never really were, especially after they have gone. Take, for example, the feeling of Saturday. To me, there is absolutely a difference in tone and feeling between Saturdays and Sundays. Saturdays have always been much more fast-paced to me, fun-loving, a late riser. Sundays are more languorous but studious, a necessary quality because of that last-minute crunch to get everything done before the start of the work or school week.

It's funny how much the structure we learn in our childhood and adolescence sets us up for the future. Summer and winter vacations, the Monday through Friday schedule. I don't work a traditional work week because of the industry I am in. In fact, I haven't worked a Monday through Friday schedule in quite a long time. So the minutiae of each day carries even more weight for me, simply because I don't have the "normal" luxury of sleeping in on Saturdays and the like. Each type of day has developed a very distinctive feeling for me.

Sundays, to me (whether they be characteristic of my Sundays or not), are: The New York Times over a large cup of coffee, sun streaming through a back window, Paula Deen and her sons baking, wildflowers picked from the garden, poppy jazz music, a steaming bowl of ramen in the middle of the living room floor with "The Baby-Sitters Club" on Disney, falling asleep in the mid-afternoon reading "The Iliad," the sounds of a monotonous golf game on the television ...

The last one to me is particularly funny because when I didn't have to work Sundays, I always complained about how there was nothing to watch on television, how Sunday afternoon programming was dominated by sports I didn't care about. And now I miss it -- the sounds that have come to define Sundays for me!

Some songs that put me in the "Sunday mood" ... it always comes back to the music :) ...

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