08.49, Wednesday 18 Feb 2015

One of my earliest memories is my 4th birthday, or at least I’d always thought so till about 5 minutes ago. I used to remember it vividly: We’d moved into the new family house just about a month before, we’re in the room with the heavy wooden furniture, my cake is on the big wood table and I blow the candles out. Now I can remember once having the vivid memory, but somewhere along the line the direct memory has faded.

But did we have furniture only a few weeks after moving in? It was imported, I know that much – there’s a story about the van carrying the cabinets and chairs and whatnot, charging off the ferry onto the land in a storm, catching the instant where the ramp is touching the jetty. So the timing doesn’t add up for me. Maybe it was my fifth birthday or my sixth.

It’s a happy memory, that birthday - my 4th or 5th or 6th - because I remember being delighted, and my family are there, and (maybe?) I was being picked up to blow out the candles, and (even more maybe?) my nan was there – I mean, seriously, who knows.

So I carry all these different types of memories all bundled up: vivid ones, emotional impressions that anchor me to family, ones that might be literally true and others that are at least true in spirit, stories about ferries that I was never there for but none-the-less there they are, memories of memories. Things that happened yesterday, this morning, ten years ago, when I was ten, a memory - maybe - and I’m reaching here - a shock-wave backwards in time of what I’ll do in 10 minutes, 10 weeks, 10 years: again, maybe true, maybe only true in spirit. All part of me.

I find that a hopeful picture, because it gives the idea of “memory” a broad reach, and I get to include the memories and stories that probably started elsewhere: my family, my friends, my pets, my books; all together, more or less, all alive, to a greater or lesser extent, in me.

Here’s me as a little boy.

That’s my school t-shirt, my guess is we’re in Kenya – so I must be 6? Do I look 6? We went to Kenya when I was 6. I’m wearing my dad’s expression, which is lovely to see.

37 today!

Once more around the sun, though not closing loops because the sun itself moves. So we carve a helix on the cosmos. Lives, screwed into spacetime.