Saturday, January 05, 2013

Familiar stranger

An old and familiar scent is a quaint experience; all within a fraction of a second, it becomes the magical carpet that knocks me off my feet, and, and quickly, very quickly, with wind whooshing past my ear and my hair holding onto its roots, it transports me high over a fog-covered landscape where its air is electric with fondness, memories and emotions. How strong they are, as my mind's eyes survey the memories below - even for those where fog has descended over and the details are none or scarce. Nevertheless, it is accosted by an immense feeling of that moment when you first smelt it. Frozen in time memories dethawed.

I'm in my mid-twenties this year and at that moment, in the building where I work... I'm suddenly 6 again, missing my working parents so I sleep on their bed. Or 9, at the thrill of moving into a newly renovated house; residue smells from the construction work still lingered. Or most of the time, it is merely the feeling of self, at different ages, that forgets the details. 

Somehow, by the absence of details, the effect felt stronger, although more fleeting. I guess because that conscious 'feeling of self' is the sole darting light in the dark, and it is fleeting because you barely have a memory to anchor it to.

We are our own, most real, reality. David Foster Wallace says it best in his speech, This is Water. I don't know why this came to mind... sometimes in my head, little brain cells race in underground passages and destroy the line between one topic and another. But I wish they'd tell me how they get there :/. Back to topic, I guess I am struck (and a little startled) at meeting and feeling who I was, say, ten years ago. 

I'm fascinated by these familiar strangers. 

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Started on a book yesterday, got hooked on it, and have been waiting for the day to end to resume reading. Plus, I'd have the weekend ahead! Alas, I left it in the office as the rain lashed the outside and my fake Birkenstocks splashed in the water as I hurried to my climbing kaki's car.  But my gloom is erased because I remembered I have an ereader, and that copy could be  attained. Ahh, something to accompany me while waiting for my car to return from the mechanic tomorrow.

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