Holding up against the light
Have you ever held up a painful memory or a lurking, unhappy thought against the light? Just to look at it and figure out why it still brings tears to the eyes or a smile to the lips?. You know….like you do with a dead flower that sits between the pages of a book or the wings of a long gone butterfly that pops up in the notebook where your mother had written down some recipes. I’ve tried a few times. Unsuccessfully.
Firstly, because the minute I hold it up the frayed edges begin to disintegrate. Some of the thoughts/memories begin to clump together in the middle like ugly mud pies so that I don’t know which strand belongs where. For instance, why do I keep seeing Bharati’s crying face right next to me as I’m watching Christopher Hutchins playing the guitar on stage in the school auditorium? She was in college and here’s me in school with an asteroid size crush on the blue-eyed, blond hair Christopher. You see what I mean? Really annoying!
But there’s good too. Every delicate little strand shows up in the light and I get to relive some wonderful moments. Like the first time I smelt the sea and the time two fireflies got entangled in my hair and lit it up from within. But wait, I digress. We started out talking about painful memories. And yes, I do have those and not all of them are stuck together in clumps. But funnily enough, when I hold them up against the light, it doesn’t hurt that much. I guess that’s the magic.
A long time ago a wise little soul had told me, reliving a memory is a good thing. It aids the digestion process. Of course, she didn’t exactly say reliving….she said chewing up! I had laughed out loud then. Today I cannot help but wonder, if it isn’t such a bad idea. Chewing up a bad memory and then spitting it out. As if to say, that’s it. I’m done with you. I’m not going to let you sneak up on me and harass me. Oh no, you’ve done that enough. And today you’re just a pile of bile or whatever it is that memories are made of.