About Memory

‘Memory has no rules or regular habits; it loses much that was important and yet clings on to and preserves quite small things which, like stray, unconnected footprints, have escaped erosion by the winds and tides of time. Recalling people, times, places and events is to an extent an affair of chance. Many are lost beyond recovery: of the remainder, some, glimpsed for a moment like a fish in clear, still water, vanish as you move towards them; the outstretched hand comes back empty save for some bits of unmemorable debris from the bed of the stream. Others are easily retrieved, as if from a computer; others again… are unforgettable, always with you. It is as if memory were a camera used with varying degrees of skill, sometimes in a poor light and at other times, though aimed and focused, without a film.’ (John Peyton, Without the Benefit of Laundry, 1997).

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