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Topic: My mind's attic
There are several variations of the past for everyone, even for the most linear of lives. Naturally the selective memories we use to shield our mostly fragile egos with are on top of the heap, skimming our mental surfaces ahead of the more official, so-called historical version of the times gone by.
Somewhere below that, in the muck left behind by our own editing reside the personal, qualified admittances we cannot avoid no matter how hard we may try. Here the mind, the consciousness - call it what you will - forces brief bouts of honesty into our lobes. These maybe highly private and obviously hidden, still, they regularly betray us through emotions, expressions, and these unguarded moments when we feel we need to connect with someone in the "real" world.
And then there are those fragments of the past packaged in the memories others have of us. Tinted just like our own spurious perceptions, but along another, somewhat alien spectrum, they tend to represent a more critical history of ourselves, laden as they usually are with the onlooker's own value sets, emotive ballast, and chanced content brought about by our own fallacies or glories.
Finally there are, for a few of us, the written words from all those yesterdays. If you have ever subjected yourself to the re-discovery of juvenile diaries or dusted off a yellowed bundle of love letters written three decades earlier, you know what I am talking about. Not only may you have forgotten (translation: denied) the existence of such words, but now you suddenly need to deal with the poignant realization that the writer (or in the case of letters, the recipient) of these pages no longer exists. He or she may still have a physical presence bound by gravity to this, our long since skewed reality; but that is were the semblance to us usually ends: the personality of the scribbler or reader has since undergone enough transitions while travelling in time to the here and now to make X-Men seem normal.
It is precisely such a sudden flood of words, penned in part some fifteen years ago on the other side of the globe, that triggered this here entry: two days ago Christina presented me - among numerous other surprises - with some hundred and eighty odd pages of "written history" log thought lost and certainly forgotten. Divided into three neatly bound and well preserved volumes, these pages represented a short story and three chapters of novel I once intended to write. Had she told me I had a fifteen year old son or daughter, I would have been far less stunned!
I was awed, not only by my own, awkward language and atrocious grammar then, but even more by the persistent perseverance and preservation of the "collector". These were not embarrassingly gushing words penned by some love-lorn teenager, but an attempt of my middle age to write down the multitude of stories that used to invade my feeble mind like small swarms of biblical locust. In that they were, naturally enough, a version of a younger me and thus served as a direct critique of me today (a complaint repeatedly underline by Chris, the collecting and preserving curator of these words).
Where was that "budding writer" now? What happened in the intervening decade and half that led to the abandonment of the stories and characters that were once so familiar to me? I did not put the pen down entirely; I have written since. Yet the investment, if you will, is an entirely different one: less ardor, a lot less believe in my own words and work.
I cannot yet write about the woman who is responsible for the saving of said words and paragraphs. The emotional distance is too small, the usual protective crust too thin to permit the "literary license" of selective memory. What can be made public though, is the undeniable fact that I wish I could pick up where I left of, certainly in terms of the words on those pages.
But who would believe in that writer?
Posted by DocRorlach
at 15:15 CET