May 31, 2016

Remembered




I have been working on bits and pieces of a memoir, both written and visual. A memoir is a memory. Having kids I've noticed many times what a particularly good sensual memory I have, while having lost most anything factual, such as the memory of particular teachers and classmates, of the childhood bedroom or toys, trips and such, names, dates, facts.

The apartment on Rue Sainte-Famille in Montreal - lying in front of the stereo my parents paid for to help get me out of a terrible funk. The sound was total and beautiful.

These memories must be so inaccurate, but it feels more like truth.

The smell of elementary school desks. Crying over something with my little head down, the smell of wood and tears.
Everyone leaving quarters on their desks for something, and wondering if I should steal them. Did I?
That time I stole a pencil sharpener in the shape of a globe, and my parents made me bring it back and apologise.

Le Nordic Spa, Chelsea, Quebec 2015-16

Running through the wet ferns to the outhouse behind our camp. It was an A-frame cabin on a northern Ontario lake, in the bush, reachable by boat or ski-do. I was very small, and the ferns were as high as my waist.
Diving far to avoid the leaches, swimming in the black water, and afterwards, salting each other for any unlucky leaches. Our bouncy dock. Carrying buckets of rocks or water up the hill to the camp, where my dad was pouring a concrete foundation for a new deck. The sound of the chainsaw in the bush. Swinging over the bushes and lake in our tree swing.
Lying in bed by the kitchen table.  The kerosene lantern, the sound of my father's solitaire game. Snick, go the cards on the beaten-up wooden table. The others already asleep.

Proudly displaying a little case of eyeshadow on my Grade 7 desk. My folks probably didn't know. Makeup was verboten. A guilty pharmacy purchase, sweated over, the wrong colours chosen. So proud of it, coveting it even as I already owned it.


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