Photo by Aman Bhatnagar on Pexels.com

When you reach my age you know, rather than believe, that Time Portals do exist.  Think of something at the bottom of the stairs and then ascend.  As you pass through the portal at the top, you have absolutely no idea of why you went up there.  Walk back down and as you pass through the portal at the bottom it all comes back to you.  Go back up and you remember exactly why you went up in the first place… after a while.  Obviously upstairs exists in a different time plane to downstairs.  Either that or nature has contrived a very particular way of ensuring that the elderly get sufficient exercise.  People of my age do not forget things, we merely misplace them: we accidentally leave them in the time and place where we first thought of them.  Time always moves on around us, but it doesn’t always take us with it.  And it almost always leaves the car keys behind.

The thing about memory is that although it has to exist in the present, it must, perforce, be part of the past.  Everything you remember has already happened, so who’s to say that everything you forget never did?  What lies in the past at the bottom of the stairs might just lay in the future at the top.  There’s no wonder you can’t remember it.  It’s all very well heading up the stairs to bring your winter coat down if, at the top, you haven’t brought it up yet.

The most sure-fire way of ensuring that you forget whatever-it-is that you seek to remember is to start the inner dialogue with, ‘I must remember…’  The conscious effort involved in the deliberate attempt not to forget is always sufficient to drive whatever you sought to remember right out of your mind.  Set off up the stairs thinking, ‘I must remember to ring Aunty Derek’ (we are a strange family in so many ways) and by the top you will be trying to decide what to have with the aubergines for tea.  The knowledge that you started the trek with a ‘must remember’ is enough to ensure that you will never dredge the information back to the front of your mind and, by the time you have given up, you will also have forgotten the aubergines and made soup.

Imagine then how interesting life becomes when what is being transported along this precarious route is an idea, perhaps little more than a thought, to be retained in the head for fourteen steps before being cyber-stitched into whatever confection is sitting open on the laptop following the last visit.  Imagine trying to hold that in place until you get there.  Step one may see just a couple of words become disassociated from the rest; step two may see a couple more swapping places.  By step three, that vital word that holds the whole thing together may well have slipped far enough behind the curtain as to have become too indistinct to recollect without a serious feat of focus.  By step four, the mind will have become so singularly absorbed in dragging this polysyllable back from the brink that all of its associates will have grabbed the opportunity to scarper – dragging the whole grand concept with them.  By the time you reach the laptop you have nothing there but feathers.

Oh well, at least it’s something…


9 thoughts on “Feathers

  1. This explains a lot but I now live in a one level house. I suppose the same principle may still apply, just tilted so the timeline becomes forwards and backwards. I have a lot of feathers on my desk, coincidentally.

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  2. What will happen if you find a scrap of paper on the stairs with a brilliant, genius idea written on it? I know what I’d do. I’d try to figure out whose house I was in.

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