Remembering to Remember

I’m listening to music that is all levels of bad. For one thing, it’s Australian. For another, it’s from the (very) early 90s. AND it’s a girl band. Singing pop.

But I’m honestly loving it. The music reminds me of that incredibly pure time in my life – when I was living in Sydney with my mother and two sisters. I say pure because I don’t have to filter it of upsets or crises – minor or major – to really enjoy the memories. I just remember being… happy. No ‘buts’. Just happy.

This was about 20 years ago, and as worrying as it is to be able to say that about any point in my life, I remember it all so well. I see the memories like old polaroids – over exposed, with a fading sort of hyper colour, but still retaining the simple pleasure of the images they’ve captured. Polaroids should never go out of style. But I digress.

I remember the smell of a sunny weekend morning, walking to the shops holding my mother’s hand. We’d buy candy at the newsagents. My sisters and I would stare longingly at Tilly’s, the art shop, hankering after the glitter and coloured pens. If we were good we’d get VHS videos at the rental store – one I remember in particular: ‘The God’s Must Be Crazy’.

I remember planting that bottle brush tree outside our house with my mum. She taught me how to pat the soil around it and how to water it every now and then – although it was usually her watering and me playing skip with the hose. I remember how it grew over the years. Now, 20 years later, it is a massive tree, bursting with fluffy red flowers.

I remember the corner-shop just up the road from my place. My mum would send me there to get danish pastries and baklavas when we felt like indulging. Sam, the owner, who I think was Lebanese or something, used to slip an extra danish in the bag for me and give me a quick hug before letting me trip on back home. That was before the weight-related insecurities, when I was too young to know what dieting and carbs and calories even meant. Every sweet that touched my lips was savored without an ounce of guilt mixed in with the ingredients. Ah, heaven. Continue reading Remembering to Remember

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Michael Jackson: Never Can Say Goodbye

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Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message He Is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest,
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last for ever: I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now: put out every one;
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun;
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood.
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

–          W. H. Auden

26 June 2009

Its 6.36 am and I’m in bed, not wanting to get out of it. In tears and in shock. Not wanting to write, but needing somehow to acknowledge this terrible, terrible thing.

I woke up to a series of texts and they all said the same thing: “He is dead, I can’t believe it”. I could barely breathe, the tears started before I could stop them as my shaking hands googled his name to find out what had happened. Even now, after reading the same thing over and over and over again, I can’t believe it. My tears keep coming and the shock is still new, painful and ugly. We have lost something. Something good. There is a hole in the world, and no one can make it right.

Continue reading Michael Jackson: Never Can Say Goodbye