Sunday, August 10, 2008

flux capacitors

2008 has undoubtedly been amongst the most chaotic and effusive of years. And we are only half way through it, so there is more to come, undoubtedly... Change has been the order of the day (or year).

The programme so far then:

March: The family dog passed away. She was fat. She had gender issues. She was damn cool.

April-May: Last time I did papers and exams for university. I studied pretty hard. Thought I would be scraping by.

June: The post-exam period (last one for a while at least) and finally, my goodbye to Warwick. And the U.K. and student life in general. Exam results. Turns out I did pretty damn well.

July: Day I arrive back in Madrid, I see my home. The new home and the old home. The main difference between them? the former has walls. The latter, does not. Spain wins La Eurocopa.

When I saw the grounds of the old home, I stumbled. It was there, and it was not. The garden centre is half there, hugging the north side of the original area, and changed. A new greenhouse has fallen from high heaven directly on top of the pool. All the orchids inside it survived the impact. A new greenhouse has been built on another one, based on Israeli designs. The fish have been transplanted from one pond to another. But the rest of the grounds were rubble.
I felt as if I were walking in a trance. It took me a couple of minutes to rearrange things in my mind. I attempted to recognise where things were in relation to the past state of this place and space that I had grown up in. The physical component of the memories of my childhood, all those good and bad memories enclosed in a cocoon of walls, ceilings, roofs, branches, trees and ponds, were all rubble. All that is left are the kitchen tiles caked in grease, and the stained wall that my window "looked out" onto.
But as I was told where things were and where things would be, my perception started to change. I stood on the ground formerly known as home. But at the same time it was something else; 60-odd years ago it was built with hands not my own. It was just the same process by which I would not bear witness to other cycles that would occur within that crossover between latitude and longitude on the map, formerly an area where I had spent a good deal of my waking life. I would not see what had occurred here in the past and I shall not see what will happen here in the future. Thus, the only thing I can lay claim to are the memories shaped in that amalgam of dimensions specified within the context of my self. It is that correlation of dimensions that I call my own, not the place, space or specific coordinate.
I am my own master, and more so the master of my memories. I am prepared to make new ones, and by far the best place to begin is with one's own home and garden stripped naked and laid bare, becoming nothing more than sand and stone; an ideal tabula rasa with which to begin.

A similar idea is that of places one has lived in, the various loci witness to my existence: Danville, Swisher avenue; Champaign, Countrybend lane; Madrid, El Garbanzal; Warwick University, Westwood Compton, Hurst; Leamington Spa, Brunswick street and the High Street; Pavia, Via della Rocchetta; Aalsmeer, Linnaeuslaan... Homes are the constructions of wood and stone. But they also travel with you, constantly. The phrase "broken home" does not refer to the building but to the occupants. Thus people come and go, as do buildings, cities, nations, etc...

We are our own flux capacitors

1 comment:

Nieves said...

Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'll find myself reading this every once in a while. MantendrĂ¡ mis pies en el suelo y mi cabeza tendrĂ¡ un referente al que acudir cuando sienta que el suelo tiembla.

Mil gracias, Nicky.