Too Early to Remember

A constant issue with me is memory; my fear of it, my lack of it, my confusion of it…

The earliest memory that I have is one of being barely able to walk, at a party at which there is baby-sized furniture that slots together, not dissimilar to mobilo.  I remember the lighting being dim, the presence of a few other babies, an adult supervising and various other enjoying themselves elsewhere, occasionally passing the room that we’re in, the colour of the toy furniture is red poles with green and yellow components and me getting rather anxious trying to put them together again when they came apart.

The thing is that now-a-days it feels like all I have is a memory of a that memory, not the original thing but a slightly faded copy.  I have the same problem when trying to remember either of my grandfathers which passed away, both before I was 15.  I remember memories of them, but it’s getting harder to hold onto the original idea, like my grandpa sitting on my brand new, pretty parasol that I’d gotten as a present on Christmas day, or my granddad smashing the glass of one of the back doors of his house after a family walk because the keys were locked inside.

I read somewhere, that the more you remember a memory, the more degraded it becomes, like watching an old VHS tape or looking at a faded photo, certain aspects of it may change, the sequence of events may change order, there may be a new element that wasn’t really there, that has confused with another similar memory, or, more likely, something may be missing.  The only memories that are safe from erosion are the ones we don’t remember, the ones we bury or don’t think about, that are generally accessed through hypnosis or a sudden recollection due to experiencing something that triggers it.

If this is truly the case then the memories, the sights, sounds, smells etc. may fade, but as long as I hold on to the memory of the memories, I think I can at least salvage what they mean to me.

That is my most basic hope.


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