Memories are less like postcards, and more like three. Second. Snapshots. A breath.
Postcards are far too pristine- a revolting generalization rather than a place in time. A memory is a place, a space, somewhere between the cerebrum and the soul. A postcard is pleasant, it can be a checkpoint and souvenir, but it is not kept: it is forgotten. It is gratuitous and obscene. Walk, do not run down the halls of memory and you shall find more, much more.
I remember Northern Ireland like that. I cannot point to things that happened during that trip that changed my life, but it has carved a space for itself within my cranium nonetheless. Before the end, this “essay” wills most-likely turn out platitudinous: a postcard. So many postcards pouring into college admissions offices and being entered into scholarship competitions, and mine shall be like all the rest. Before I assimilate however, I would like to offer a few memories, not postcards.
Here I sit, languid in the late afternoon sun, and moments drift back to me. Listen to this, dear reader.
Dappled light draping the graveyard.
Buying Phillip Pullman’s The Subtle Knife, kneeling on the smooth crystalline floor of an airport bookstore.
Eating corn beef hash in some musty inn at two o’clock in the afternoon. The hills looked greener than ever through the window. Time moved slowly while we ate (and the adults drank.) There was an air of inactivity to the whole affair, and the afternoon was to unfold in a leisurely manner. It didn’t matter.
The foam of the frothy sea curling and crashing against Giant’s Causeway. The stone pillars of octagons jutting perfectly beneath our rapid adolescent feet.