I’ll not pretend to understand time, the subtle nuances of a second, a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month, a year. How a lifetime can span a minute and a revolution can span decades. My interest, here, is memory– a trigger, synapses firing– how my grandfather’s death can birth my childhood in reeling repetitions of thought. How a last breath can breathe life into still-frames hung in the dusted attics of our minds.
How strange it is that I remember the foiled gold wallpaper of my grandfather’s foyer more than the man. How I thought his car smelled of money– the newness and the leather seats– smells alien to my childhood. And strange more that my mind keeps lingering on his garden, perhaps the most accurate appendage of himself– a sloping hill latticed with walkways, deer pausing mid-chew, under the heavily filtered light of branches, an exuberance of verdant green splendour. Here I caught my first salamander, little speckled red slug with limbs, and marveled at its curiosity.
Of the man? I remember hands in his trouser pockets, tucked polo, leather belt, rocking on his heels with a wistful glint in his eye– a look that wanted to forever foster the gleeful and mischievous nature of his grandchildren. A look that spoke of love. A look that intoned adoration.
Am I remiss in these memories I walk?
Am I forgetting everything, or nothing?