Tuesday 29 August 2017

Thought Picnic: Never underestimate the memory of a child

The danger of remembering
Sometimes, I consider myself a dangerous man, not because I am violent and ready to do any person any harm, but because I have dangerously keen memory.
I can observe and recall, experience and relate, participate and remember such ideas, events, places, things I saw or hear, what was or not done in such detail as to find myself somewhere on the autism spectrum.
How far bad my memory goes, I cannot tell to an exact time, I do not remember the trauma of my premature birth nor the months of incubation and I probably do not want to, it serves no particular purpose, though I have been informed of certain circumstances around my nativity and consequent development, probably grist for a possible life story.
Remembering from long ago
However, there are memories from around the age of three that I can recall, not only that, some do playback as vividly as if I were watching a film, all in my mind. Those almost flashbacks seem to be readily accessible and very useful, disarmingly useful indeed.
With a memory like that, it also means I do not forget, or it is not easy for me to forget what has been committed to memory with all the accompanying activities that make that memory within recall. A sound, maybe of music, perceiving a smell of something, seeing something that looks familiar, or thoughts that churn like delving into a lucky dip basket to retrieve a moment or moments.
Long ago a child did see
Then envision the scenario where a child is neither oblivious of or unperceptive of their environment, the tension in the home, the things adults attempt to conceal from our view that we see and understand too clearly but are given no voice to express. Like I said to an uncle something ago, we the children see all these things, do not be deluded into thinking we are blind or that the passage of time would bring a blurring of the memory into forgetfulness.
Yet, people forget, they ask questions they should not ask and get answers they never expect. They raise ghosts of the past and I built out the cities in which those ghosts once lived amongst us. The instigate issues today forgetting that every comet has a long tail, just as significant as the comet itself. Indeed, if there is a backstory, it is probably going to come to the fore.
See that you never forget
Maybe, it is a gift, or it is a burden, I cannot deny it exists and I am not shy to bring it out, my silence should never be taken for the absence of context, depth, reason and attribution. The things left unsaid have probably not ripened enough for that time and place.
Yet, people forget, they stir the still waters, plumb the depths of mysteries and miseries seeking some justification which when given a construct and a provenance might well change the outcomes. I do not want to be feared and I do not want to be taken granted, I will speak to the present and speak to the memory.
Never underestimate the mind that has little capacity to forget, all the good comes with gratitude, let us not talk of the other.

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