So I then ask myself does the accuracy of my memories matter in all memories? I don't think so. Memories are deadly in an old boyfriend but are memories of happy childhood necessarily bad in their inaccuracy?
Today I had an opportunity to compare and contrast two memories. It has left me a wee bit sad, achy, and bittersweet, kind of like the bitter after taste of a particularly hoppy beer. The sip to the front of the mouth quenches and tingles on the tongue. After swallowing it the hops bite the back of the throat and leave a bitter residue in the mouth. With each swallow the alcohol kind of numbs the hop taste and gives a kind of a giddy feeling.
I had one of those dreams last night. I am always amazed that I can still dream of the first boyfriend for no rhyme or reason I can tell. It is always a heady rush and I'm usually left with such longing that I am hungover for the day. These are the memories I question for their accuracy. These are the memories best left in the trunk and in the scrapbooks. I've found I don't trust the memories anymore.
Later while sitting in Starbucks reliving a childhood memory in verse I sent myself back to the time to taste and see the memory.
I could feel the sun and the sweat trickling over sunburn and freckles. I could see the ribs of rock poking out of the dirt. I could hear the low of cows, the clang of the windmill blades switching directions. I could feel the ice flow of well water in the stock tank as I picked through the slimy algae to find the snails inhabiting the rusty sides.
The wind in the cottonwoods make a certain rustling sounds that seem to be whispery voices. I smell the grassy fresh manure with the blue bottle flies buzzing. My feet make tracks in the powdery dust on the cattle trail. I keep my eyes open and feet on the path to avoid the field cactus and devil's thorn. I can taste the dirt on the sweet wild onions from the pasture. I wade through the dark chocolate mud at the pond's edge and strain my eyes to see the minnows darting and flashing silver in the murk.
The pond in the pasture rimmed to the south by a grove of cottonwood trees was a magical oasis for me in my childhood.
As I relived that memory I asked myself,
"Do you suppose this memory is as inaccurate as the boyfriend memory?"
"Does it really matter if this one is inaccurate?"
No, I don't think so.
It's more of a conglomeration of memories, pressed, packed down with sediment to form a rock- a diamond or more appropriately a piece of limestone filled with dead sea creatures. This one I won't pack away in a trunk. It's seared in my brain like the Kansas sun on a 100 degree day. It's in every freckle on my body.
Memories, a rock in a hard place? Or a lie told to myself?