Select Page

How do you remember? What do you remember?

I am working on a writing project right now which has to do with remembering a ton of stuff about me, and my life before 1981. That’s right, I said 1981, a long, long time ago. A time which I remember clearlyish because I was 10.

I’ll pause while you do the math.

Yes, I am aged. (where aged is prounounced with two syllables, as in age-ed, not aged as in a cheese, but wow is cheese ever tasty and you could just nibble on your arm if you got peckish).

So one of the things I think about throughout the course of the day, in addition to “was there something else I was supposed to be doing, seeing as how I never write anything down, in spite of the fact that words pour from my fingertips most of the time?” is about how we rememember things. On the one hand, I have alot of things I want to remember for this project. On the other hand, I can’t really force it, because I can’t just sit still and will the memories to come.

I have to let the world wash over me and wait for me to see something that reminds me of the thentime (also known as the beforetime), which is before 1981, which, I don’t care how much world-washing you’re doing, is just a long time ago.

Cryptic this all is, I know, and cryptic it shall stay. But I still wonder what it is that triggers a memory, and how it was that out of the thousands of bits of graffiti I have photographed in my life, I saw this one:

DSC_0907 and immediately remembered that in the same town, several months before, facing the opposite way, I had seen something by (presumably) the same artist.

graffiti in El Tabo

And then I wondered what it is that makes him (assuming he is a he) paint these stiff-legged and -armed creatures, in the very same palate of colors with the same googly eyes, this same curved shoulder, this same lack of concern for the tippy top of the head.

I wonder painting these pieces makes the artist think of something. Or remember something.

And I wish I could tell him that I remembered him from one season to the next, and that I couldn’t say exactly why.

Because memory is like that.