Saturday, January 15, 2011
Pins In A Map
In case you wondered where I had gone. I have had the flu. Its been a quiet week round here apart from the coughs and sneezes. I have not felt like writing.
The memories that I hold most dear are manufactured. If not to a greater extent then certainly in the detail. If you are pretentious enough (as I am) to write, then you find this to be so. If you turn over your own baggage with any attempt at honesty then I am afraid you will find the same. Others recognising the skeleton on which you hang a tale will inevitably chip in with things that you miss and yet to them were significant at the time. And so you check back on the details.
Look for the date.
The significance of the day.
The time on the clock.
Where the sun stood.
How green were the leaves on the trees in my valley.
And while the memory holds strong you realise that it cannot be so. The picture that you have painted over the years is just that. An artists contrivance.
When admiring a watercolour it was explained to me once; by the artist at her task. The cottage scene was set in mind but the purple headed mountain needed moving left two or three miles to achieve the required harmony.
So looking up there it was. In admiration of the rendition I had lost the grip on reality. Perhaps that is overly dramatic. Rather I should say that I recognised that my disbelief had been suspended by the cunning of the artists hand and eye.
As I return here time and again to explore my own past and to put some pins in the map I realise that all I can ever manage is an occasionally pretty fiction. Like the artist, in looking to improve upon the composition, it is hard to maintain the agreement.
Yet I don’t think this is a bad thing.
Crumbs! Imagine if we had more than this. Had it all to hand. Ready for the microscope. How would we stand up to the full reality of aspects of the earlier day without some kind of filter in place.
Better then to smile wry with the artist and, if not agree, at least look to the trick.
So then. Don’t worry if you step along this road beside me.
It is, after all is done, a story.