- Vol. 02
- Chapter 08
Image by Sigrid Calon
THE PARTS OF THE MEMORYThe door leading from the room I long for opens onto an arched verandah. A thin curtain the colour of a peach hangs from a wire. The material’s so thin that I can almost see the threads in the weave. Who cares how thick the curtain when it’s never cold here and you sleep and rise with the sun.
Sunlight, already strong, burns it’s clean shafts across the room. Dust, memory and wonder are caught in the stripes as I wake. I’ve slept through the morning prayer but the memory of the evening’s verses, sung with a slow and heavy sorrow are still clear in my mind. I can remember the sense of lament, the marking of another passed day, the pain and joy of what passes in life, the emotions translating without language.
A scent of bougainvillea blows in. The shadows of the tree planted by my Uncle outside the window shake in the slight breeze. There’s a branch from it in a vase on the bedside table. I stare at the paper-thin leaves and pearl trumpet of the flowers as my jet lag fades. The purple colour is both vivid and calm at once. I have tried for years to match the shade to dahlias that I would plant in the hard earth of my garden. One winter I searched for a nail polish replicating the exact colour to paint my toenails with. After that I gave up.
The sounds of the household become louder. There’s sweeping, talking and saucepans clanging in the kitchen. Outside, unnameable birds sing unknowable songs. A train phases in and out of my hearing.
Then a realisation hits. The cool white prongs of reality pushing the haze away. I’m here for a funeral. However you add up the parts of the memory, this place has gone.