The human experience is a moment-hopping journey. Random memories coalesce together in the hope we can make sense of our existence, of who we are, why we are here. We weave a consciously lineal narrative into our voyage through the world and yet our subconscious releases these stories like a bundle of pick-up sticks in a game of Mikado.
Snap! There we are, aged six and our front tooth has just come out. We smile at everyone without fear or shame. The hole in our denture defies ridicule and encourages individuality. Distant is still the feeling of embarrassment that will plague our future years, whenever we are asked on to the dance floor.
Snap! There we are, sitting by ourselves on the cracked wall next to the abandoned, weed-strewn, communal garden. We are the acne-afflicted teenager with pain in his heart and no Plan B on how to deal with it. Yesterday we rose to kiss our loved one. Standing on toes, raised heels. Raised hopes. Dashed now.
Snap! We are the young adult with a frown on our face and a letter in our hand explaining mortgage rates. Our ship moves ever so slowly away from harbour. Soon, we will not have tranquil waters anymore. Instead we will be at the mercy of the ever-changing weather. The letter sits on the table. The mortgage rates fluctuate in the stock market. We are building our monument to Nostalgia.
Nostalgia. Self-lacerating and yet so welcome. One minute you are the mature, decisive adult who handles each child-related emergency with pragmatism and sang froid. The next minute, you are an emotional wreck as memories of that cracked wall flash up in your mind.
Nostalgia. Indulgence in the past or fear of the future? Traps that Time sets for us, unsuspecting humans, or tools to re-imagine easily forgotten eras?
The ball I threw while playing in the park has not yet reached the ground. No, it moved in whimsical ways and continues to move that way. Neither lineally nor predictably, but randomly. Like a bundle of pick-up sticks in a game of Mikado. Ready to be released.