One of my earliest memories is of my mother awakening us in the middle of the night, with her finger pressed to her lips in a shushing motion. “Let’s play a game of hide and seek.” , she began. Her hair was long and dark, her blue eyes penetrating mine. “But we must not make a sound.” I saw suitcases in the corner, and our clothes were put on in a hurry. Silent dressing of three children, as I was the oldest…I looked at my younger sister and put my finger to my lips as my mother had done to me. My baby brother with his sparse blonde hair peeking through the the crib rails.
“Shhhhhh…we are going to hide, and now don’t make a sound.” The quiet whispers as we went down the stairs…with my little sister in tow. A low rumbling sound of an awaiting cab as we made it out the door, In the dead of night, with amber street lights…swishing by. Feeling the rocking motion of wanting to sleep, during this game of hide and seek, leading us to a bus terminal the crowds not so thick, and tired blinking eyes of flourescent blindness. Climbing the steps with toddler legs to feel the stiffness of false comfort of a seat…as I looked out the window to see the flashing of the streetlights as we drove out of Chicago that hyponitized me into a deep sleep.
That was the night my mother left my father when I was barely four years old.
Okay, a long time coming…but I have been up to my neck. Just back from Norway and waiting to see the footage come back from the lab.
So some memories. Tell me if you need more detail.
Cold, cold prairie winter day. The sky is a perfect blue, the sun is so bright you need to protect your eyes. It bounces off the snow. In front of our familly bungalow, the walkway to the front door has been cleared with precision. On the side the snow of the path the snow in perfectly-formed, round stacks. Like sugar.
Lo primero que recuerdo es una imagen mia con mi abuelo , sentado en mi cama y leyendome un cuento antes de acostarme, a partir de ahi, casi casi puedo recordar cada periodo de mi vida. Mas o menos unos cuatro o cinco años.
Era una habitacion empapelada con ese tipo de papel que se llevaba antes , en colores amarillentos y dibujos geometricos. Una habitacion con una ventana que daba a un patio interior y dos camas. La mia estaba pegada a una pared y mi abuelo estaba sentado en mi cama contandome un cuento por la noche antes de irme a dormir.
The sun is shining through the Lounge window; it must be 12 o’clock as the light is so bright it nearly hurts. I stand in that very lit and defined window perimeter in total ecstasy, surrounded by millions of dust particles flowing and dancing in the sunbeams. The golden rain flows in slow motion around me and I somehow know that this torrent of microscopic gold nuggets is a secret treasure, a key plug in, that I must silently download and absorb through my skin.
After more than two weeks of thinking, I thing that my first image that anchored into my mind was an incident that happened in my first day in school when I was 6 years old. I was in the schoolyard running for a reason that I couldn’t remember. Suddenly, I fall on the schoolyard, which was made of asphalt and its color was black and lined with other colors like yellow and red. I remember that half of the building was light green and other half was darker horizontally. I remember that the image was the falling part. Most of my sight went to the ground and the rest went to the building. I believe there were some small trees near that building and the sky was blue.
One of my earliest childhood memories is of being whisked up into the arms of an older brother and taken outside into the backyard of the family home where we would sit atop the timber picnic style outdoor table and chat about anything. It didn’t matter what the topic was. Maybe my brother would point to some birds flying overhead, or we would laugh at the antics of the pet dog, or even look for Care Bears in the clouds. It didn’t matter. It was a distraction you see and I think even as a four or five year old I knew it, but it was easier just to pretend. Somewhere inside the house, usually in the kitchen or front living room, my mother would be on the floor, hysterical and unwilling or unable to pick herself up. My father and maybe another brother or two would take an arm or shoulder each, in an attempt to lift her up and escort her to her bedroom.
Somehow, someone must have been delegated the responsibility of removing me from the scene. Considering I was seven to ten years or so younger than all my four brothers, I imagine they were accustomed to the drama but wanted to shield me from it. My memories of these instances present in quick, sharp snapshots, like the clicking frames of a camera; and usually at angles that just allow for a glimpse around the corner of the dining room wall or behind a kitchen bench, as I looked back over the shoulder of whoever was carrying me towards the back door. It was confusing and scary, but easier not to ask questions and seek out those Care Bears in the clouds instead.
I am two years old and am sitting on the shiny wooden floor wearing a soft yellow dress. My legs are stretched out before me as I watch my unaware father sitting near the open window. The white shear curtains desperately try to touch him but he is unaware of them as well. The sunlight has succeeded in wrapping itself around him but all he can see are his big shiny shoes. He is polishing them with such love, such focus. The big shiny boat shoes that will faerie him far, far away…
The first vision recorded as a landscape comes from my parent’s Bettle car.
It is also the only one I have as a memory as them two being a couple. It is an obsessive picture which makes sense in my personal history but I tend to question its reality continuously. Did it really happen ? I still don’t know.
I was a baby or kid, not really sure, and we were leaving my grandparents’ house. We are parked by the big green porch, I might have been on my mum’s knees. My father is getting into the car after few words with his parents. I can see my grandparents vaguely but my vision is attracted by the garden. My grandparents had a huge house by the Seine. The back garden for growing the vegetables, and the front for flowers and fruit trees.
On the left was the furnished garage were we lived, on the right a massive metallic garage in use, and in the middle the mansion. My eyes were contemplating the flowers of multiple colours. Mix of different types of flowers, roses only are stuck in my mind. In the foreground was the frame of the left back seat window of the car, then the wall with the vivid greens fence, then the flowers in myriad. Blur silhouettes of people talking and moving in front of the vegetation. It was a bright morning like late spring. The front garden was bathed in warm light and the characters and myself included, in the shades of the big trees.