Monday, September 12, 2011

A sudden barrage.

As I drove, scents and sounds flew in the open windows. With them, they carried keys. Keys to open the bureaus and chests where my memories sleep, folded and tucked away. Suddenly, the lids of these safeholds were thrust open, causing memories to scatter all over the streets behind and beside me. The air became foggy with remembrances. Memory after memory sped through my mind. Memories of houses belonging to great-aunts and uncles; of the rows of shops in Chincoteague; of playing with Lily on summer twilights; of gravel driveways leading to exciting places.
Numbly I sat and my hands automatically kept up their cradle-rocking motion on the steering wheel. I felt blind, a blanket of reminisces over my head, a Janis Ian song playing on a loop in my mind. {Lover, am I coming home again?} In turning every corner, new memories would spill out. The most random of remembrances: that time of Sunday wandering with my brothers and father; countless dinners out when the grandparents were in town; exploring a green expanse of grass with my sister.
As I neared home, they quieted down. They've dissipated by the time I've pulled into the driveway. My father who sat next to me was unaffected; he felt, heard, saw nothing. But it was all I could do not to stumble up the porch steps; weary, yet wishing the memories would come back in all their intensity. But everything was locked up again... except for one sole memory lingering centerstage. It was a new one, with a polished sheen and beguiling gleam in its eye. Twas the memory of this car ride and the not unwelcome evocation of feelings and experiences I’d nearly forgotten. I hung the shiny new memory where I could see it, not willing to put it away just yet. I wanted to ponder it for a while longer...

(This strange incident happened to me yesterday. I almost feel like I imagined it all, it was so out of the blue. It always amazes me how short the line connecting memories to scents and sounds (&c.) is. Such as, whenever I hear the sound of a large/long zipper being zipped, bam! I'm miles away, camping and lying in a tent listening to a member of the family opening the zippered door. Or I'll smell something and find myself cast years into the past. The mind and our five senses are wondrous things. Do you, dear readers, have any sound/smell associations?)


  1. yes I have, specially during december and march, and early june. it makes me sad sometimes, haunted with lost memories and all.

    meleelove, this is, as always, really beautiful.

  2. This is beautiful...I love the first lines especially, "As I drove, scents and sounds flew in the open windows. With them, they carried keys. Keys to open the bureaus and chests where my memories sleep, folded and tucked away." And "My father who sat next to me was unaffected; he felt, heard, saw nothing." It's always like that--either nobody else is around, or they don't quite understand.

    This does happen to me sometimes, though not as often as I'd like. Once I was at the mall, looking at clothes; and suddenly, just for a second, I smelled kindergarten...the dreary, drab school building. I don't have good memories of that place, but remembering the feeling of a seven-year-old's dread was quite interesting. If nothing else, it made me feel like a kid again. :)

  3. Oh my gosh, zippers always remind me of camping too! :)
    I wish something like this would happen to me. You wrote it so beautifully.

  4. haze: "...haunted by lost memories" I like that... and know the feeling.

    Thank you, sweetest. <3

    Marian: Thank you so much. :)

    Oh, how cool! It's so fascinating how we can also feel the feelings, as well. Maybe it's our bodies' way of keeping us in contact with our past selves.

    Jenica: Really?!? That's hilarious and amazing!
    Hopefully if it ever does, you won't be driving; I'm surprised I didn't wreck the car! ;) Thank you, dear.

  5. Amazing as always! ♥

    Oh, there must be hundreds of things that do that to me! I think the best kind of are when you recall something you have wholly forgotten, a ghost memory. Oh how I wish I could share with you something, even a single one! But it seems I never remember anything before something reminds me of it. I've a very bad memory. I should always just stop whatever I'm doing whenever I recall something and write it down; if I had notebooks full of these memories I'd not only remember them always but could also share them with people!
    Anyways, I think it's amazing how there's poetry everywhere! Life's just so beautiful when you think about all these little things; thank you, Melee, for reminding me yet another one of those. :) I forget things so easily, it's such a shame really.

  6. You describe it so utterly beautifully! It happens to me all the time too, usually through scents and smells, and tastes. It is funny how something deeply hidden can be brought to surface just by smelling something slightly familiar, though it is horrible if the memory is just right there, but you can't quite grasp it.

  7. Such vivid and lovely descriptions!

    I think I've experienced what you've written before... When I'm falling asleep, random memories will come to me, small everyday moments. And then in the morning I won't remember them at all, just know that I had remembered. This morning was a little different... I awoke remembering the sound of the grandfather clock my grandma had in her kitchen.

  8. oh, i have tears in my eyes after reading this. memory-triggers are the most beautiful, heartbreaking, arresting moments in life. i wonder why memories affect us so strongly. something that happened so long ago, how it has an emotional pull after all these years. it really makes me want to cry, just thinking about it. just recently, i rediscovered some old cartoons that i used to watch as a child, and i was so delighted, i watched them for the entire afternoon. the old times are always, always the best in hindsight, and the present cannot compare with the golden-glowing memories of childhood.

  9. Jessica: Aww, thank you, lovely girl! ♥

    Though you couldn't remember a specific memory, you've certainly communicated how they make you feel. :) I actually have a journal where I write down all the forgotten memories that come trickling back! Except I'd kind of forgotten that I had it. Ha... hahaha!
    Oh, you are so much more than welcome, dearest. It's something I always try to be aware of; I used to forget so often, but remembering helps me from becoming too beaten by the drudgery and darkness. I'm so happy I could remind you too.

    E: Thank you, dear! ♥ Oh, yes - taste also! Sometimes I would eat something and its flavour would remind me of a place or something absurd that I'd never actually "tasted." I was a bit nonplussed till I read somewhere that when we smell something, we also sort of taste it. That's obviously not the scientific explanation, but it gets the basic point across. :)

    Jade: Thank you, dearest. :)

    I always seem to forget the things I remember at night too! And I also only remember that I remembered and nothing more - such a frustrating feeling! That sounds like a pleasant memory! Funnily enough, I was thinking about my grandmother's clock today...

    thea: These reactions to my post mean so much to me! I had no idea memories evoked such strong feelings in others too. I wonder what it is about them, as well... Oh! There's nothing akin to re-discovering a favourite show/movie/song of childhood! I could not agree more, things are always best in hindsight. Even things that happened only last year I've started to cast in the most precious of lights.

  10. a beautiful dreamscape? Enjoyed walking through it with you.

  11. So very lovely, dear. :)
    So sorry I haven't commented or replied in such a long time, things have been... busy and hecktic.
    You are an amazing, wonderful person and I hope you realize how precious you are.

  12. Shopgirl: Aww, thank you for walking with me! :)

    Ever: Thank you, dear. That's more than alright - I know how life gets! :)
    Oh, oh! Thank you so much! You're an absolute sweetheart. Thank you for your kindest of comments. You're awful precious yourself. <3

  13. Marcel Proust! The theme of your post reminds me of him. Have you read about him? I wouldn't ask if you read his seven-volume series, "In Search of Lost Time," because reading all of that seems very epic to me, haha. But I've found that excerpts often float around in the strangest places.

    He writes about involuntary memory, where sensory details or random occurrences in our daily lives can somehow trigger past memories. Haha, that sounded way too scientific, haha. I remember reading an expert about it in my college French class and was fascinated by the concept. I want to use it in one of my stories, though it' so hard to choose just one :)

    For me, I often get floods of memories linked to place the most. Like, after having gone to three concerts now at Downtown Disney, I get this strange nostalgic feel when I go now. As I walk by the House of Blues, I can almost see myself standing outside in the line or ducking in and out of stores years ago. It's really fun, actually. Sometimes it happens with food and a lot of times with smell, but I guess place is the biggest trigger for me.

  14. I actually don't know much about Proust or his works though he's an author I've always kind of planned on reading someday when I'm feeling very bored and very intelligent.

    The concepts he write about do sound so fascinating! I need to get my brain nice and limber before reading him, so it doesn't explode or something.

    Oh, yes! I had forgotten places can be a trigger too! I get that also, though not as often it seems. I like your description, almost like the ghost of your past self is still wandering around, forever in one time and place.

  15. This happens all too often, and it takes me far away. The strange part is that a particular scent or feeling or sight will overwhealm me, fill me up. But I can't grasp it, I remember something but nothing legible. It haunts me once it dissapears entirely, like deja vu or something that was never a part of THIS life.

  16. Oh, yes! It completely consumes and eludes all at the same time. I'd never really thought about it haunting like a deja vu, or a past-life glimpse but it certainly does, now that I consider it!


Silhouettes of a secret. A story told over a cuppa. Or perhaps just sitting on that stone bench, basking in the moonlight... and not saying anything at all.

("I can no other answer make but thanks, and thanks, and ever thanks." -Shakespeare, Twelfth Night)