Memories Instead

There are perfect points in memory: those untarnished, unfettered blocks of experience so clear and vivid and timeless that, for a moment, they fly with a rush past the ears and eyes and settle in the forefront of consciousness to demand our attention. It is often with a reverent smile that such points come into focus; moments from London and life abroad. It is always at these times that an ache to travel back arises too, as if the gathering clouds of time between the memory and now with force compound the need.

Quite often the memories catch me unaware; passing amiably as I sit and eat my lunch alone at work, reading. In these moments the words I read will no longer make sense, and I will stop and look outside. When I look I do not see the outdoors, but memories instead.

Tuesday I remembered walking up Gray’s Inn Road in the early morning cold to King’s Cross St. Pancras train station with Tina on our way to Liverpool and other (at the time) undetermined destinations, and re-read what I wrote at the time.

Wednesday I remembered our first trip to Belgium, and that morning, when we took a minicab to get there on time (it said 5:30 AM, so we arrived at 4:45 and froze for 45 minutes). As I re-read my accounts of our time in England, I remember so much that didn’t make it into those long-winded pieces. Over the course of the next few weeks, I will bring some of those unmentioned memories to light.

Today I remembered the first and last days of that journey, those odd, unnaturally long days and nights, and the excitement of it all. My actions there, however simple, seemed important. Everything was worthy of recording, worthy of photography, worthy of memory.

I dream of going back, and yet, with each passing month the distance seems greater.