My memory is strange one. I would not say peculiar or deranged or dysfunctional or manic. But it is strange.
My memory operates like it did when I was a child, with a slight overzealous capriciousness. My connections between the passings of time and color and light and season are often broken into little bits, pasted back again, and stretched into a strange taffy-like world. But one should note, a surreal world is a real world still.
My memory, like most, is a collection. A collection of sayings, habits, rituals, ridicules, ramparts, ramblings, stars, skies, records, dreams, slumber, trees, songs, schoolbooks, triumphs, and honey cakes. They make me ache for them. I ache for these “other years”. Places I can never get back to. My memory is of lost ones, found.
I have a memory of living inside a tree.
It was a favorite game of mine. Pretending to live in a tree, in an abandoned wood, befriending the creatures, embracing a life alone.
As a child, that freedom, that solitude, is fantastical. It is an emancipation. To create a “self” through play, a “self’ worth being. Doing things that are “good” and “kind” and “noble”.
As a child, I trusted in the rustic.
In the unrefined.
In the interesting.
In the woodsy.
In the farmy.
In the textural.
I trusted in things that were solid and confident in their singularity. Things that have a name, that have learned it, that embrace it—just as I was learning to embrace mine. Learning to love what “being,” meant.
I was drawn to burlap, to flour sacks, to spools of string, and tea towels. I was drawn to the weight of iron hooks, the patterns inside stained glass. The mouth of milk bottles, the smell of Beeswax tapers. I loved jam jars, and paper and salve tins, and my mothers quilt.
I trusted my judgment, as I trust children now. There is a wisdom and delicacy with which they handle the world. To them, it is a newly laid egg, still warm. They press it to their cheek and settle it into the pocket of their coat. They marvel at it with their fingertips. With the egg, the child does not weep to think it will become their breakfast. It is simple. They feel its weight cupped in their hands, and are swept up in the miracle. The miracle that something inside, something they cannot see, makes the egg warm. And keeps it.
And now, I wonder again what it would be like to embrace something for what it is, as it is. For children, there is no proper “sequence of time”. Their life consists of a string of absolute moments. A beginning and an end in each one. So the weight and dourness and blinding joys of the world are felt entirely, and kept in each one.
But it is strange, to think that miracles for children do not last forever. They float between them. Like mists in a wood. Play in them, like squirrels between trees.
i seem to write a majority of nostalgia posts.
i suppose there is something in that.
These cherry tarts are darling, delicious, and done. And the chocolate bourbon pecan? pshhh, fuggedaboutit.