Sunday 8 January 2012: Little Memory
Some memories preceed us, while others include faces, smells, and sounds we ourselves have experienced. I spent a lot of time telling of my grandfather the other day, but the timing of it caused almost everyone to miss it, and so I was discouraged. Here's an easier blip, featuring the shyest of my three cats, Max.
Alongside the mighty and massive cat you see my file cabinet, which contains a large portion of my years of research on local Anarchist history, and writings of mine, and other things of memory. I've dragged that cabinet around between adresses several times, and it's always been worth the trouble. On the cabinet are magnets and stickers from my travels. It is funny to think about each item seperately because each brings to mind a person, a town, a museum, or an activity that has no connection to any other, but reminds me of something within my life. It's a wretched old cabinet, but it works.
On the window is a keepsake of the Burning Man festival of 2007, which was, for a few years, almost a religious matter for me. Now I seldom think of it and I'd never go back there.
Under the pile of feline muscle is the afghan bedspread my paternal grandmother made for me at least 25 years ago. She made one for each of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren as a systematic project when she was in her early eighties. Come to think of it, there might have been a few great-greats on her knitting list. Grandma relished knitting things or winning prizes at bingo games, then giving out the goods to members of the family. We would describe her as "rollee-polee," and she had a wonderful jolly laugh, always optimistic and smiling. I have many dear childhood memories of visiting her home in Boston. My little sister and I would be given a few coins and we'd walk around the corner to an old fashioned candy store to but rock candy that was different from anything available at home --a special treat. I must have been around six years old.
Finally there is Max. He's half cat and half moose. He was feral when I met him and even now, after almost six years since that he's warmed my bed and savored my belly rubs, he is very shy. If I suddenly stand up near him, he'll rush away. When a visitor comes, he'll hide himself for hours, but in the typical day he seeks and receives his share of affection and he wins all boxing matches that arise between him and his two same-species roommates.
These are the ways by which a simple photograph, taken in the most familiar setting possible, throws me around the past 15o years or so. It is only because Max has such big eyes and muscles, and especially because he's alive, that he dominates the photograph.