Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Home is a special place where secrets slip up and down the stairs and memories meander through the hallways.
It's a space where silence and stillness share quarters with the bustle of everyday life, where time shifts sideways to create an oasis of unreality and the where the past is always present.
Sitting on the kitchen table I see myself in a short skirt and laddered woollen tights, drinking tea and watching my mum fry onions; putting rubbish in the bin I see a shadow of myself as a young girl with tangled hair and sunburned legs sitting on a favourite branch with a packet of marshmallows; climbing into bed I see myself strained and dangerously thin, crying over a lost lover and gazing hopelessly into an unknown future; doing my makeup I see a reflection of myself with ringlets and a sequined veil, shakily applying mascara whilst anxiety and giddiness curdle in the pit of my stomach.
Visiting the ghosts of so many former selves can be nostalgic, comforting and unsettling, and their presence both draws me and drives me from this place that is so familiar that it makes my life seem strange.
But this weekend as the sun shone and the family assembled I was able to pass these shadows peaceably on the stairways and smile as I caught their reflections in the glass, knowing that they are the the specters that have made me the person that I am today, and that this very visit would be creating a host of new memories that could haunt the hallways for years to come.