Do you ever have moments where a person comes into your head unannounced and unexpected? A rude awakening from whatever you were doing– reading, washing dishes, bravely singing along to a favourite song on the radio– when you find your unintended focus interrupted.
there's a jolt, a lightning bolt that brings a remnant of the past
whirling in like a gale-force wind. A door blown open. It might be a
decreased relative, an ex-partner, an old friend you lost contact
with, a fleeting acquaintance that you used to bump into on rare
occasions, or someone you never met or spoke in person to, your
relationship conducted through another medium. It's always a person
that once meant something to you although you or they may not have
realised it at the time and possibly still don't. The significance of
your meeting, even the merest of brushes, if it came, came much
later; or sometimes it doesn't occur until that momentary flash of
recognition. Before your portrait was taken without your consent and
as if by an early photographer you hadn't given that person a
thought. They were forgotten about, consigned to one of those things.
Something you may have had a hand in or may not as they gradually
faded or were mercilessly swept away. But who in their rational mind
wishes to dwell on such happenings?
five senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch – don't seem
to want to very much. They have to be distracted, otherwise occupied,
engaged in a task for a sixth sense to slip stealthily in like an
opportunistic burglar or a prowling black cat. Then WHAM! you're
either hit on the back of the head or there's the sound of a loud
CRASH! from a distant room; sometimes if you're lucky the realisation
will be gentle like a cat purring and rubbing against the back of
your calves, but either way your attention has been sought.
happens next depends on the individual – the victim if we're still
using the analogy of the burglar although I think in time you'll find
you're more of a willing accomplice – as the experience varies
wildly. But what I will say is that the outcome is always the same: a
memory once made, however ingrained or fleeting, is returned, often
just for an instant, although the affects can be long-lasting.
sometimes these impressions are dredged from murky depths so that
they surprise even you, the one who created them. You don't remember
consciously storing these details away but you must have done for now
they stare you, sometimes superimposed, sometimes under or
overexposed, in the face. Regardless of whether they're sharp,
intangible or cloudy you wonder why: why have they been called to the
surface now? Is it purely nostalgia or a fact or feature you didn't
understand or see? Is there something to be gained from spontaneous
something stays with you, it's like a fissure: it widens as you probe
around, for as humans we do not always know when it's best to leave
things. We think there's a puzzle to be solved when often the
remembrance is only meant to be pleasurable. Details we may have
previously missed may not require investigation but instead desire
acceptance. They might provide an insight into a deeper layer that at
the time we couldn't perceive because we were too close to either the
set of circumstances or the person it concerned. As galling as it is
when you're immersed in a situation and want resolutions or answers,
the bigger picture cannot be seen until those intense emotions have
passed. You can weep or rage all you like, but sometimes you're meant
to be blind to the consequences of yours or others actions.
wise to certain facts, be it a new slant to a person's character or
reaching an understanding of what at that stage seemed rash in their
words or actions, may not be in your best interests until after the
conflict has died, gone away. Indeed, you may reel from this
information when it's revealed after a lapse, but your reflections
may be kinder.
Picture Credit: P R Francis in the Colour Lab, Camera Press