March 5th, 2008

Thank you Stephen!

Everytime I read a book on writing by an author I admire (Ray Bradbury, Ursula K Leguin and others), I would get depressed about how much they seemed to remember about their childhood/early childhood. Ray affected me the most - he says he remembered being born!

And here I was, with hazy memories, more like antique silver halide or ammonia photographic prints of my childhood, shot by someone who never noticed or cared about the fingerprint on the lens. It was very depressing to realise that the answer to most of these questions: "what kind of blanket did I have as a child?", "what were the smells around?", "what kinds of sounds do I remember?", "what was the first thing you remember tasting?" was a shrug and a "I don't know".

I kept wondering - how on earth did they remember all that? Was it something they took pleasure in? Or were those memories their safety blanket as in "oh, life sucks right now, BUT, I remember being born, thrust out into the world as it were; so that's ok then".

Anyway - back to Stephen - finally a writer who is brave enough to say he does not remember either. I mean, it would have been very easy for him to tell us he remembered that he had to be born, otherwise the midwife would have killed everyone and drunk their blood (or something along those lines).