Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Place of Memory

A trip to Kentucky, one I wasn't planning to make, has put me in the place of memory. I came to see my mother, who is improving though still in the hospital. What I found is so much more. It always is.

To be in her house without her is to imagine a future where she is memory. Unimaginable — except it was precisely what I was thinking about when I began the drive out on Monday. Perhaps because I was trying hard not to frighten myself, I arrived here unprepared for the memories this place evokes. By the time I pulled off the interstate onto Paris Pike it was as if I had flown here rather than driven. There was that same abrupt displacement, the same new ways of seeing it provides.

There was Loudoun Avenue and Dad's old neighborhood. There were the charming cul-de-sacs off North Broadway. And then downtown, the one-way streets still two-way in my mind.

Even the summer air — breathed in deeply after leaving the hospital at 9 p.m. — even it belongs here and nowhere else. I struggle for a way to explain this that makes sense. Is it the way air currents move across old bricks? Is it the breezes that spring up in bluegrass pastureland? Or is it simply because it comes from the place of memory?


blogger counters