Saturday, June 13, 2009
It only takes a glimpse of a London Underground logo for me to be able to visualise the cracks, patches and inconsistencies in the pavement on the route between Clapham South station and my home six years ago. Similarly, a browse around Smitonius and Sonata or Kay Loves Vintage with the occasional quintessentially Dutch imagery, has me straight back eighteen years ago, working sixteen hour days and recalling the precise detail of the endlessly polished silver cutlery and a doomed first, ‘big’ relationship.
This morning I was sorting through our girl baby, hand-me-down clothing. It takes only a glimpse of this or that to bring flooding back the sleep deprivation, milky, musky smells, a head too heavy to support itself, a snuggled-in closeness, first steps, I’m-choosing-my-own-clothes-now-ness. Is that why, as I fold and sort, that I can’t resist burying my face in a jumper, trying to breathe in some of that history? Is that why, even though I am very pleased to pass them on to the babies of dear friends that I would also like them back when they are outgrown? Just to marvel at the smallness and softness and experience that clarity of memory, of a busy, fraught, wonderful, difficult time. Then I’ll fold them and sort them and pass on the hand-me-hand-me-hand-me-downs to be part of another small history.