Monday, 1 April 2013

The year 2012

Three months of 2013 have passed. The new year is starting to age. The freshness of January has gone. It is only more recent weeks that retain a feeling of proximity, enabling a sense of time without thinking of dates.

The year 2012 has receeded into the past now. The images I have as tags for each day would be difficult to place in that year rather than another, were they not pinned to my mental calendar.

There are 366 dates on that calendar with at least one image pinned to each. Without them how much would I remember of 2012? A month-long visit from one of my wife's sisters and her friend, might be reduced to three or four key memories. Perhaps I would remember the date when we left my country to return to my wife's, possibly even the different relatives we visited on our return, but not how long we spent with each and how we filled those days.

It would be like the year 2011, where for the months before 17 December, when I began this process of remembering every day that passes, I have recovered just one or two images to represent a whole month. The rest is white out.

I can remember this date - 1 April - from a year ago in great detail. My memory tag is watching a street artist with my nephew, who has been staying with us. We are on the way to meet my brother. This image is an entry point to the details of the day: the picnic we had in a park, visiting a steam museum, my mobile phone dying.

There are other days I remember in as much detail from before I began this process: I can run through my wedding day over a decade ago from morning until night. There is a similar level of detail and ability to inhabit the memories. But for 2012, I have this for every day.

Another of my wife's sisters visited this weekend, bringing an album of the ceremony renewing her wedding vows 25 years on, which we missed last year. Looking at the date, I could remember where I was and what I was doing. It was nothing significant, just a day at work and taking the rear wheel of my bicycle to be repaired.

The year 2012 is special as it is the first year where I can remember every day. But now it feels done and dusted.

History, like the other years I remember less well or hardly at all.

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