Saturday, August 29, 2015


My mother's childhood home in NB - backyard
This house is at once nicer and worse than I remembered.

My mother grew up in this house along with her 10 siblings. A noisy, Irish family.  When I first encountered the house it was quiet, with just one of the original 11 living in the walls that sheltered a clan. A quiet man with his wife, both sad, at least in my memories.

I have harboured an idea that behind this clapboard was a dungeon from which my mother was rescued. There were dragons behind those walls. Those ordinary, tired walls.

This house is a mere 3 blocks from a beautiful river that I did not remember ever having seen. Three blocks away, but absent in my recollections, which clearly cannot be trusted. Sizes, locations, beauty, dinginess, joy, despair, love, security, danger...  all of it shimmery mirages in the desert distances of my memory.

Last week, I stood in front of this house, with a lovely river clearly visible over my right shoulder and swiftly, unexpectedly, lost sight of everything I thought I thought I knew that also relied on the shoddy memory that had erased the mighty Miramachi river.

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