Sometimes though, there are small things that no one else is really responsible for that make even more of a difference in a person's personality, the mental minutiae that life serves up can be just as detrimental, or beneficial. I will never forget hiding in the lilac bush as a child; the smell of lilacs still makes me feel safe, or the feeling of euphoria that the song "Maniac" still brings on. In the 5th grade in New York, we made box kites with tissue paper and drinking straws and flew them on the playground, and to this day, primary colors against sky blue can still fill me with awe.
I also remember reading - I loved to escape. One book in particular still stands out in my mind, with it's pale mint green (oh so retro) hard cover with a cityscape on the front with clouds in the sky - but the clouds were shaped like cat prints. I remember the cover graphics, but not the pictures on the inside. That's because the words inside painted a picture that overcame anything the illustrator had accomplished.
I loved that book, I literally slept with it on many a night. I read it until I knew it by heart, I read it until I could recite it in my sleep - I read it knowing that I'd live out my life trying to write just like the 'story' in it. Of course, I had little concept of poetry then, or how it differs from a story, but it was most definitely one of those little things that has affected me for the rest of my life.
Here is the text that was found in that little green book of mine:
by Carl Sandburg
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.