Saturday, 19 January 2013

Past years

Someone asked me in a comment to a post on this blog whether I visualise an actual calendar to pin the images to that help me to remember every day that passes.

That is exactly what I do, though I sense the position of the day on the calendar as much as visualise it. If a day is on the extreme left, it is a Monday, for example. When I review the images, I also say the full date to myself in my thoughts.

Thinking about this has combined with my attempt to capture images for the time before I began this process on 17 December 2011.

Firstly, I have tried to find images for each month in 2011, not worrying about the exact date.

Just running through these images helps to give shape to the year and more and more detail is appearing.

I have still been finding it difficult to orientate myself in the years prior to that. Where I spent particular New Years Eves has been particularly tricky.

Visualising the calendar for the years as I venture back, 2010, 2009, 2008 and so on, has helped.

I see the year in large flaming numbers in my mind's eye with the 12 months of the calendar stretched before it. Images are starting to appear. Again, I'm not worried about the precise dates, more at which point in the year the images come.

More generally, I am trying to remember where I was living.

So the beginning of 2010 is now blocked out as being in my wife's country. She visited again at the end of the year, returning just before Christmas. The bad weather the day after I met her at the airport as we planned to travel to my brother's is an image tag that goes somewhere at the end of December.

Yesterday when I was drifting off to sleep, I tried rolling back the calendar further, year by year.

It is amazing how long ago the turn of the millennium was. I have an image for that.

Further back through the 1990s, when I spent time in Africa.

Into the 1980s, when I was at college, at school at the start of the decade.

Into the 1970s, where it feels like the flaming numbers of the year should lose some of their colour as I head towards a time of black and white television. I'm resisting, because the world was in colour.

Into the 1960s, when I was born, and have little in the way of memories, though I do have some.

The calendar rolls on back, but I am not there.

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