Memories have a funny way of playing with the mind. At times they come with a sudden gush, crystal clear, making us nostalgic, but sometimes they look blurred. Like when you are trying to see your face in a blurry mirror and see yourself in bits and pieces. I try looking for one of my memories, rummaging through my pile. Years of life stains, make it hard to look for, identify, and be sure- if that is how it was. Thoughts run through, a small fright- “have I altered it?” scrunching my eyes and trying to concentrate as if adjusting the focus so I can see it clearly for a second.
Taking a cloth I try to scrub the mirror hard as if doing so will clear my mind of the dust that has gathered on these memories. Not remembered, recalled, and lived all these years, I shudder if they have disappeared completely. Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police comes to mind. I fasten my movements of scrubbing on the mirror. It is not any clearer, still hazy, but I give up content with what little I can see.
*A little girl with a notebook and Dicken’s Great Expectations, blue cover, opened in front of her. She is doing her summer holiday homework, jotting down words and making sentences, filling up the pages with paragraphs from the book.*
Several years later, here I am still wondering what my little-self thought of the book when she first read it. I guess I will never know because that part of the memory is botched with a spot on the mirror that refuses to clean. No matter how much I scratch it. But there is a sense of contentment from how much I remember: the fact that I read the book and enjoyed writing segments from it in my notebook even if it was to improve my handwriting.
Every time I look through this foggy mirror of memories, it shows me what I was or could have been. But then the fog lifts, and I see who I have become. A better version? Perhaps. Maybe. I don’t know. This journey from the past always feels dreamy. Imagined. Fictional. But is it not what life is, as Jeanette Winterson says- part fact, part fiction.