Three years ago, I began transcribing memories. The memories had no real order, I would just sit in front of my laptop and type anything that came to my head. I ended up writing over 15 pages worth of memories, and I figured they will be something special to look back on someday.
Last night, I had a memory that was so pure and beautiful, that I felt obliged to share it with you all. I was driving home at night. The radio DJ may have given me some guidance on the subject matter, as I think he was talking about a childhood memory, but I can’t remember the subject matter of the story. Anyway…
If you know how my brain works, then you know I was immediately whisked away, thinking about other things. The memory was in my old childhood home. It was a summer night and I was in my bed. I must have been about 6 or 7 years old. I wasn’t yet asleep because my mother was practicing on the piano downstairs in the living room. The music wasn’t annoying, but rather a low tone that was slowly lulling me to sleep.
My mother switched songs and began playing Greensleeves.
At this time in my life, I had never heard this song before. It was beautiful. The song was perfectly simple and the most moving thing I’d ever heard. With each note she played, I was more and more overcome by the beauty of the song. Waves of emotion crashed into me and I began to cry. I couldn’t stop. I laid there weeping uncontrollably. I walked to my door to better hear the song. I then walked down the stairs and turned the corner to the living room where my mother was playing. I stood there beside her and held her until the song was finished.
I sat in my car, remembering this thing that had happened to me. Remembering my younger self being overwhelmed by the purity of the song, and accepting the invitation to feel.
I thought to myself as I drove home that night, “When was the last time something that pure happened to me? When was the last time I allowed myself to be moved by something to the point of tears?” When I was seven, it seemed so easy. It came without barriers or walls. Without shame. I just let it happen. There was no second thought. I felt and then I cried. Sometimes, I think back to those times and I miss that fresh innocence…experiencing something like a child. Sometimes.
As some context, boys who grew up being told never to cry would not have a similar story to mine, but I grew up with sisters and a father who told me that it’s okay to cry and feel. And I’m better for it.
Memory circa Summer 1993/94