Memory as Metaphor

Memory is a funny thing.

It’s like a tiny alligator. Lurking in shallow water leisurely swimming by moving its tail. You wade tentatively in life, feeling warmth and security. Going further out and away. When suddenly it grabs your ankle in its sharp pointy teeth reminding you it’s there. And then leaving little pointed pricks in your skin.
Prickly, pint points of blood. Distracting reminders.

Or it’s like a shroud that falls over you when you’re going about your business, in the middle of routine. And suddenly a smell or a taste or an image will act the trigger release of a safety catch. Letting drop a black and suffocating shroud. That settles on you for an hour, or a day, or sometimes a week.
Until you’re distracted by an occurrence or
a conversation or
a making-of another memory that will not take its place but rather act as a distraction. Strong enough to put shreds in that shroud.

At times it is like a Tuesday bruise on your knee on Thursday. Not as sore and tender to the touch as the day you received it, but now dark and purple and prominent when you lift your pant leg to view it. Only to cover it up again. Then have it glare at you in the face when you’re in the tub, knees popping up through the bubbles reminding you that you fell.
A small injustice or failure.

And every once in awhile it’s like a little spot of sunshine that moves about a room. You have to consciously see it. Move towards it. Plant yourself in it so that you can have it warm you. If even for a little while.
Like a cat.
Until it’s time to move on and out of the sunshine
and back into the momentum of life.
Only to experience new alligators, shrouds, bruises
and blessed patches of sunshine.

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