Some reflection on Memories from my colleague Conor O'Leary!
The glassy eyed goldfish, in its glassy bowl, used to communicate telepathically with my doctor, so he knew everything I was up to. I didn't like how this was, so I covered the fishbowl with tinfoil and whispered 'normal' thoughts into the bowl in order to convince my doctor that everything was okay in my head.
But things were not okay in there, things were rarely okay whenever a memory had been kidnapped.
One of my memories has been kidnapped (I just said that). It is my memory of how my father behaved on the night of my 7th birthday. I remember the gift, I remember the cake but I don't really remember how my father behaved that night. That memory, my doctor said, is key to understanding where I am today.
But I don't understand that entirely. A memory is different to a fact. A memory could be true, but it could also be exaggerated like a tale or missing vital details like a rumour or joke without a punchline. I don't know if I should base my current self on a memory- is a memory not just a voice in my head? I'm supposed to avoid voices in my head.
So why should a memory take center stage in my recovery? It's a blurry vision. I think he was drunk but I was a kid and can't be relied on.
But I know for certain my father of today and I know for a fact that he is dying. He looks at me like he's saying he's sorry but neither of us speak any words. So if I have a choice I will choose the certainty of today over the painful confusion of all those years ago.
And I kill that fish, because it knows what I am really thinking.
The worst part of holding memories is not the pain. It's the loneliness of it. Memories needs to be shared.
- Lois Lanry, The Giver
It was a thought within that withering mind
Some tuneless din
Told what might rule once done was Love
A cup of tea. And a biscuit tin.
(...answering to Roy Fisher.)