Saturday, May 13, 2006

salty tears and permanent stains

I have very few memories of my childhood.
Randomly, I remember bits and pieces and this saddens me as I know it was extremely happy and mostly normal and what is there, lodged forever, speaks only of pain. The rejection, the failings of childhood. I chose moments of crisis and pain to store, memories to remind me of the bitterness of life. Why bother with the precious or fun memories?, I thought, they teach you nothing. The pain is what I always recalled, until recently.
It hasn't been too long, maybe since the birth of my daughter, possibly since meeting my husband, that I began to take stock of what went into my permanent memory. I can recall with great anguish, any number of "bad moments" in my life, but I know that there are 500 times as many experiences that don't taste of salty tears. What would it be like to remember the exhilaration of riding a bicycle for the first time? Looking back only to realize that your father, sister, mother, let go a good block behind you.
I bet that memory tastes like strawberries in whip cream, juice running down the front of your shirt; a permanent stain to mark the occasion.

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