It's rather amazing to me how fickle memory is. The mind shies from memories that it associates with unpleasantness or danger, sometimes leaving a panic or unease without context to taunt one...or it obsesses over those same memories, torturing one with things better left forgotten. It stores snips of happy memories. Why are there only snips that can be drawn out and savored? Why not keep snips of the bad and access to volumes of the good? Had I designed the system, that would have been my programming...or at least something coequal.
So the question of the day is about our earliest memories. Mine is of sitting on a porch that has a railing, looking down at a yard in what appears to be late spring/early summer, based on the flowers. My parents have dated this memory for me as somewhere between when I was 8 months and 10 months old. No kidding. They base that on it being warm enough for me to sit outside and the fact that such a porch and yard only existed at the house we lived in until I turned 10 months old. Seems like an odd thing to remember snips of, but I'll assume I was happy at the time, so it got stored away in the back of the mind.
Some things I remember are better forgotten. I won't shy from that idea. There's a reason I write dark fiction. At times, the idea of ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND sounds pretty good to me. Not to get rid of little things like the ex-boyfriend, but to eradicate years of abuse and neglect. Then again, those experiences are part of who I am. If I eradicated them, would I still be me? Or would I be some smiling poppet that didn't have my drive and heart? Would I lay myself open to further pain, if I didn't remember the old? Would I forget to protect myself? On second thought, the movie had the right idea. It's better to leave the good and the bad.
Things I wish I could claim to remember, I can't. I'd love to remember the first story I created. Sadly, that is not saved among the snips...at least as far as I've been able to access. I have writing saved from the age of 7 up, sporadically. I know I was writing then, but the earliest memories I have of practicing my craft come around the age of 10.
Memory may be inconstant, but it's worth a trip down the lane, once in a while. Who knows what side paths you might stumble upon and recover those precious snips?