2011/01/17

The rest of the story


In my last post I said that I could not recall the emotional memory attached to that particular music. While it is true that for that precise one I do not remember the specific event, I do, in fact, know why certain songs and recollections from childhood trigger deep reactions.

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I have a couple of times, like in my note to my sister, mentioned that my family history was not a bubbly and idyllic story. My parents for almost all their lives were chronically angry and unhappy with themselves, each other and most of creation, including me. There were, however, brief oases in which more tender emotions were permitted a short sojurn.

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One such respite was my mother's preparation of the Christmas cake. I still recall this annually when I make the fruitcake from a recipe in her wartime cookbook.

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Certain songs were such oases:

"Count Your Blessings" sung by the Luton Girls' Choir - my mother remembering some hopeful times when a girl at school.

Songs by Ivor Novello - my mother remembering that once she had optimism for a life of love and warmth - hence this postcard story.

"Because" -sung by my father, who had a beautiful but seldom used baritone voice, as he occasionally took to the kitchen to prepare Sunday dinner. Lancashire Hotpot was his forte.

"Moonlight and Roses" - Used by my father as a lullaby when I was very small.

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These all help me remember that beneath the desert of desperate unhappiness once flowed limpid streams and, instead of being angry for the blistering heat, I can have a little empathy in sadness for what was lost.

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2 comments:

Audrey said...

What a haunting post. It takes a great deal of compassion and courage to examine the painful times in our life and to find the ability to forgive others for the wrongs that were committed. Your willingness to do that is a clear indicator that you are breaking the chain. Very admirable and inspiring.

elizabeth schmid said...

So sad that the general atmosphere in your childhood was bleak.
I feel it terribly important to try to present a reasonably happy atmosphere in front of the children

Though I'm sure they, like animals, can detect what is truly there.
I'm very blessed that my adoptive parents were
happy people and they gave me this gift too
(though, obviously, not all the time!)
Happy w/e

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