My First Memory
I have perky personality and a quirky sense of humour. My optimistic outlook on life rarely wavers in the face of adversity, even though I am married to a rather taciturn man with a pessimistic outlook on life. It is a comical situation given that we have been inseparable for 35 years.
However my body existed in an incongruous state of tension and anxiety. At times paralyzing fear would grip me, seemingly for no rational reason. One day a forgotten memory, really my first memory emerged from my subconscious as I sat in silence meditating, breathing slowly, deeply with my eyes closed. It was an image that was foreign to my conscious mind, an image that was pre-verbal consisting only of raw emotion.
A tiny me, dressed in a white dress, lay curled in a ball, a fetal position on the ground.
Black wisps rose up, drew together forming
into a hug, broad-shouldered, faceless, nameless shadow.
A shadow that loomed over tiny me, drawing ever closer.
My unease became fear, quickly soaring into terror, gripping, ice-cold terror.
My adult heart pounded, my breathing was short, shallow, my hands gripped the arms of the chair.
I was riveted to the scene.
I tried to force my inner movie to unfold.
I strained, I needed to see what had happened
In a disappointing flash
My inner vision was gone,
replaced by a pale, dove grey, blank screen.
Peace flooded my senses, erasing all traces of panic and terror.
My body slumped, relaxed, drained.
It was like my inner T.V had been unplugged, disconnecting me from my inner memories
My mind was smarter than me;
I demanded rational answers, a conclusion, an explanation
but I was not ready for that first memory.
Soon I smiled, then laughed with joy
because I knew instinctively that
my first pre-verbal memory was the key to my freedom.
The Joy of Mothering