Sunday, 13 January 2013

Digging up the past

Can I reclaim the days that came before I began this process of remembering every day that passes?

Sometimes it strikes me as odd that I remember every day of the past 13 months, but the 46 years before that are pretty much a blur. Some of that blur was more significant to me than the last year.

Memories do come to me unbidden and from time to time I will reflect on particular events, but they are snapshots where one recollection might serve to represent a whole phase of my life.

For example, I learned to fly a plane when I worked in Africa in the mid 1990s. I can remember some moments of this experience in great detail, but not every flight and certainly not the dates.

When a friend at the reunion we had on 15 September 2012 told my wife a story of joining me on one of my flying lessons, which she thought we show her the sights, only to end up feeling ill as I practised landing after landing (getting none of the perfect), it draw a virtual blank for me. It was more a case of imagining it happening than remembering it happening.

I have a set of diaries that cover that time and stretch pretty much from when I was at college to the present day. I kept it going by not making it a duty to write. Sometimes I will let it go for months. Other times, I'd write regularly. Since I began this process I made a point of not writing things down (there is a blog posting here explaining why), but a few months ago I did pick it up to try to catch up, filling in far more than I have pinned to my internal calendar.

I have wondered if at some point I could use the diaries - which I very rarely read - to reconstruct the time before I began this process, if not in the same detail, at least with some images pinned to specific dates.

Whether this is realistic - or worth the effort and naval gazing - is not something I've resolved as yet.

But I have started exploring the possibility in an organic way. More about that next time.

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