You know how when you’re little, every day is an eternity?
Your entire world is a blue bassinet and a few familiar faces. You never know when they might appear. Everything is new and worth remembering.
Then you go to school. And the days start to speed by, just a bit. English, Math, Science, everyday it’s the same classes. But there’s still plenty of new things to try out. I made a lot of pictures when I was little. And looking over them, I could remember my mood and what I was thinking about perfectly.
For example in this one, I was trying to figure out how to draw birds as well as how best to apply glitter without getting it all over your sister’s half of the room. We were learning about the migration of birds in science class and I’d spent the day at the library looking up photo books for my report. Whenever I look at this picture I can still hear my mom listening to Makeover on the radio out in the hall.
Oh, and I defiantly remember this picture! It was the final one I had to submit to be considered “artistically gifted.” I was working with macaroni by then and Uncle Luthor was annoyed that all the pasta kept going missing. But macaroni is the best way to give your 2D art that 3D feel. Plus those spoke noodles make perfect wheels.
When you’re a kid, there are still plenty of days when new things happen so while school might be a drag, the rest of life is still plenty long. I remember getting to stay up late playing chess with my dad and Uncle Luthor helping us both learn how to play. It was special because Dad only played chess with me. Not with Ell or Hank.
And we would do our homework after school on the back patio. Ell would always get annoyed at our brother because he though he knew so much more than us.
But slowly you start repeating experiences. And all the times you did your homework on the back porch start to blur together.
The days start to speed up. Hours spent playing the piano blur between days.
Watching sports with Dad in the living room over dinner. We’re not a big sit-down and eat family.
Different days, but the memories are blurred.
You can still get those time-stretching memories, but only when doing exceptionally rare things, like camping.
Camping sticks out because it’s new and different among the monotony of school and life. That weekend lasted an entire summer in my memory. But all too soon it’s your birthday and then you’re a teenager.
And the days triple in speed.
There’s fewer and fewer chances that you’re doing something new enough to make a strong memories.
A few events do stick out. But they’re firsts. Like the first time I went fishing.
But did I catch anything the next time?
So I’ve started painting. I was curious to see if painting would allow that altered state I got as a kid where I remembered even the music I was listening to. If nothing else than to catch a moment of what would otherwise be forgotten.
You don’t even have to paint a picture of what you see. Just the act of paining something new gives that moment in time a bit more ooph. A bit more stability against the crush of repetition. Haystack was painted right after Dad got his promotion and built a sauna down in the basement with the bonus.
So while memories can slip through your fingers like sand. There are ways to hold on to them. Find a way to make every moment unique and it’ll be easier to remember. It’s important to remember as much as possible, because it goes all too quickly once you’re older. And there comes a time when you won’t be able to make more memories.
At that time, you don’t want to regret how little you remember from time spent together.