Tuesday, 14 January 2020
RUMINATING REPOST: LET'S HAVE SOME LIGHT AROUND HERE...
Here's a funny thing. ("About time!", you cry.) No, I mean 'funny-peculiar', not 'funny-ha ha' - although it is about time, so to speak. You know how, when you associate a particular item with a specific place and period in your past, the association sometimes seems 'all-inclusive', whether it actually was or not?
"Good grief! What's he wittering on about now?" you may be asking yourselves - so I'll tell you.
On my living-room ceiling are two circular fluorescent lights, which were first acquired in a previous house back in the 1960s. I know we didn't always have them as I remember my father bringing them home one night and having to return one for a replacement the next day (or was it the next week?) because it was broken*.
We'd moved into the house in 1965, but it could've been anytime between 1966 and '67 at the earliest (maybe even '68?) before the lights assumed their place on the ceiling. I can't remember the exact year we got them, but I now associate them so strongly with the house that, whenever I think back, it seems as if we had them the entire period we resided there, even though I know it isn't so.
Over 30 years ago, I visited my old home for the first time since leaving 16 years before, and was surprised to see patches over our old paper on the ceiling where the lights had once been. (The patches were still there a few years later and perhaps might yet be there now, for all I know.) Anyway, seeing that the lights had left their mark for so many years afterwards only reinforced their connection to the house in my mind.
It's the same with toys and comics. Over the years, I've been lucky enough to re-acquire many items I once had as a child and have now owned them for far longer than I ever had the originals. Some I originally maybe had for only a few weeks or months, others a year or three - and, as is the way of such things, some were consigned to history long before others made their appearance - yet somehow I seem to remember possessing each and every one of them concurrently and for the same duration.
One example I spoke about in a previous post is the first issue of the revamped SMASH! from March, 1969. I only had it for around four days before selling it on to a classmate (it was my intention to buy another copy the next day, but I couldn't find one). However, every page had embedded itself in my memory with such clarity that, when I tracked down a replacement copy over 15 and a half years later, it was instantly familiar - as if I'd last seen it only a few weeks before.
Here's the kicker though - whenever I leaf through its pages, I'm instantly trans-ported back to the living-room of the house I lived in at the time. What's more, it seems to conjure up every aspect of that house and all the years I lived there, even though I only had the comic for a mere four days. Uncanny!
So, I don't know about you, but I find it exceedingly strange that some items inform our recollections of a place to such a degree that they seem to represent the entire 'picture' as opposed to only a part of it (if that makes any sense).
If you've any thoughts on the subject, feel free to express them in the comments section. (And if you can tell me what I've just been talking about, I'd very much appreciate it.)
*It's just occurred to me that I've subconsciously always regarded both lights as being the ones my father brought back on that particular night and which have adorned our ceiling(s) ever since. However, as related above, one was returned because it was broken, so its replacement was essentially a 'ringer'. It reminds me of when it was eventually revealed that the first BLUE PETER pup died a few days after his debut appearance, and was hastily substituted with a doppelganger (later christened PETRA). For many years, viewers believed that the dog they'd watched grow up on TV was the same one they'd first been introduced to, but such was not the case. I feel sorry for the poor puppy that died, but I suddenly find myself feeling a little sad for the broken light that had to be returned. Yes, you're right - I'm bonkers.
Posted by Kid at Tuesday, January 14, 2020