Saturday, February 23, 2013

Memory Mitosis

Every moment happens twice: inside and outside, and they are two different histories.
-Zadie Smith

I would say that every moment happens at least twice. There's the moment itself, there's your narration of it, but then there's also the memory it sparks, which has another history entirely. This is true especially when the moment in question involves watching your child experience something you've experienced. Then your head becomes a superdome cineplex with double-features on the hour.

Mothers especially can take a hard hit for being spacey, for being dim, forgetful and frazzled. I know I have stared at each of my children many times  before it dawns on me that they are saying: Mom, Mom, Mom, MOM! Their voices like a mirage on the horizon that eventually comes into focus. On the outside, I say Oh! then, What? and on the inside I watch the moment, but in another room I am ice skating on a frozen pool with my best friend, standing by myself at a school dance, or crying because my heart has been broken.

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