Good and bad memories

July 4, 2016

Memories are not just dusty and forgotten rooms that exist in one’s head – to me it’s a place that I often suddenly and unexpectedly find myself standing in…for a moment… I am not sure where I am…then it all comes right back. I am not quite sure where I am…it’s not exactly a Proustian Madeleine experience. Well nothing as defined as that….

Memories can be both both good and bad, melancholic and nourishing to the soul…..at times, when one jumps right back into the fog of the distant past….it’s as though, one has landed on a trampoline….only to be propelled forward into the present and future.

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‘It doesn’t take a lot to nourish, kill or stunt a relationship….it’s like a potted plant…they are fragile, finicky and even when they look hardly….they could just as well shrivel up and die – there are some things I don’t imagine I will ever share with anyone…..that’s just the way I see things – some things are open others HAVE to be closed – but since I came here, one particular memory stands out.

I phoned back home…as I wanted to hear a voice….all I got was a machine. This happened every time…I phoned, and phoned and phoned. Maybe fifty, possibly a hundred times…I phoned….but there was no reply….only the machine.

You see it’s very simple….I really needed to hear a voice from back home….and I really don’t want to explain why that was so important at that point in time…let’s just leave it at that.

It took me a while. Maybe six months. Perhaps even less, I can’t recall precisely….but I know that at some point something broke off. I could feel and sense it….something snapped….detached…. and thereafter…it was never the same again….like a withered and dead branch that is still part of one’s soul tree.

Even when I tried so very hard to scrub away that painful memory…there was always a watermark impression that served to remind of that period of abandonment.

I don’t really think it’s about forgiveness or for that matter forgetting…letting go, or for that matter moving on or any of those other bag words where people like to use these days to suggest – it’s best for one to move on like a new seed falling from a tree and growing into another tree in it’s own right – it’s much more complicated than that…as pain is pain and it leaves an awful scar….like I said, it was never the same again.

Memories can warm the cockles of one’s heart. Good one’s…the one’s that are really edifying. But I reckon, they can also shred one’s heart to ribbons as well – that’s why whenever possible one should always make an effort to collect only good memories….memories that will always bring a smile or even sweep one away like a magic carpet from darkness to light.

I once came across a eight year old African refugee boy who had experienced the terror of war – even the experts had given up on him – they said he had retreated irrevocably into his own world….he never spoke a word…he stared blankly at the world…they said he was damaged goods – as he fashioned a secret room in some unknown corner of his mind that even the exports could only guess where it was….they didn’t know where it was….as they said….only he has the key – the boy had witnessed his entire village being hacked to death by the rival Akholi – I don’t trust experts…but I don’t blame them either…that’s how people are programmed – when others respond to them, they feel encourage….when they don’t…rather than blaming their own lack of imagination to seek out a way – they give up…frequently, they do so with clever excuses…that’s why I don’t think very much about ‘experts’…one day I went out hunting and caught a big monitor lizard with my dog, gutted it’s tail lashed it with his plenty of wild berries and all the Baka roots I could find and boiled it all down to thick gruel gruel….when I served this boy this bowl of soup…no one knew this…except me and him….he smiled at me….something moved…something that had long been dead was stirred and now like a unmoored thing, it was making it’s way thru the darkness of the depths to the surface….it could be not be stopped. You see it’s very simple…he gave me a key to this room in his mind…that’s how powerful memories can be.

What do the experts know!

One should always strive hard in life to collect good memories….my only wish is that I knew this long before I began the journey called life.

The greatest wisdom a man can ever learn in his life time is to reach out and touch another….’

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