Let your memory lead you

I am home for Christmas. Actually, this is home and isn’t home. Increasingly since I bought my own place that little flat in Lewes is more and more my safe place to run to. I love visiting Mum, but it isn’t the place I am most relaxed any more. Funny how things change.

I walked past my Nan’s house tonight. She died over 10 years ago now, at a time I was married and not speaking to the rest of the family so I didn’t hear about it until much later. I had not thought about her for a while – I tend not to raise memories of the dead regularly.

It was interesting how it came about. I was walking back from meeting an old school friend for a drink, a thing heavily laden with connotations of past lives and memory as it is, and I idly glanced over the road names as I did.

“Byron road”

tugged at my memory before I had a chance to think about it and the number 98 floated into consciousness. I wondered what the significance could be. Then it gently crashed against the shores of my awareness – a long, long forgotten address. A place I haven’t been since I was 17, before I ran away from home. My Nan’s house. My Dad’s mother.

On a whim I elected to vary my route and walk down the road to see if my subconscious had pulled the right thing out of my brain on seeing the street sign. I walked down the road, in the dark and the rain. It got rainier as I walked and I cursed my sentimentality. The number plate on the house is still the same. I felt the recognition as I looked. I stood and gazed and a memory of being in the living room with my Nan, my sister and my Dad tore through my mind, gone again in an instant but leaving an impression. Like a shape burned on your retina after staring at a filament light bulb for too long. It was a sliver of a moment of utterly clear vision, gone before I could consciously take it in. What then lingers is emotional, tactile, bodily experience based. Enough of it remained as a shadow on my mind’s eye to spawn other memories. Things I’ve not thought about for a long time.

This evening I didn’t give myself a hard time for not being there when Nan died. I followed my memories and it was fine.

Happy Christmas all 🙂 Hope you’ve enjoyed it in whatever ways matter to you. Appreciating all the love in my life, even if the memories have sadness attached to them, matters to me.

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