Sunday, September 09, 2007

Scents Memory

You, who shattered my heart so completely that I never thought it would mend itself. You, whose voice I knew immediately even though it had been almost twenty years. You, who thinks only old women garden, are the one who came to my mind today as kneeled over my flower bed.

The sense of smell is so strong that it hurdled me back twenty years in a nanosecond. There I was again standing in front of my parents' house on a humid summer night with the scents of mangroves and night jasmine and freshly mowed grass swirling together in my nose. And of course the butterflies were there just as they had been then --not in the air, but in my stomach and in my chest rapidly fluttering their wings.

You're still hung up on the first sentence. I know you have not processed the rest. We'll probably never agree. I hope some day you will understand.

Why is it that some memories won't die? There is so much to remember from day to day. Oh the times my wallet was left at home...or my keys. A birthday missed, an errand not run this happens all the time. So why is there still room for those memories? They're so vivid and equally bring such pleasure and such pain. Would I miss them if they did disappear? Maybe that's why I haven't let them go. Is it possible to let them go? Will they go? For good? Should I?

20 Deserve Mamma's Love:

dawn224 said...

Tuscany cologne - fist to my gut. I hear what you are saying LOUD n clear.

(Must stop thinking about it now, thinking about it tends to bring him out of the ether and into the real life.)

BethGo said...

There is a great short story you should look up about his very thing!
"The Incredible Appearing Man" by Deborah Galyan

You have to read it sometime and tell me what you think.

By the way, this post is right on the mark. Very good.

www.nolanotes.com said...

I posted about the sense of smell today too! Wassup??

I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. The other day I was in a storage room of a grocery store and was immediately brought to my grandparent's fishing camp. What a pang!!!

Lola Goetz said...

it's amazing how strong our scent memory can be.

becky (misspriss.org)

~JJ! said...

Scary isn't it?

karrie said...

Be afraid! He's probably Googling you or about to contact you in some way.

At least that is usually what happens to me when I have those kinds of textured memories.

Lawyer Mama said...

I have those scent memories too. It's amazing how it all comes flooding back with just a whiff.

Paige Jennifer said...

(sigh)

Sometimes I wish I could selectively empty my head (and my heart) of memories that don't deserve to take up space.

Nice post, Mamma. Nice post

PS: If you give me more than 3hr notice, I will not only join you for cocktails on Fri but drink you under the table. Miss you (and your infectious laugh)!

Mrs. Chicken said...

This is very, very beautiful, and it rings with truth.

pinks & Blues Girls said...

Scents are such powerful memory stirrers. Too powerful sometimes.

This was beautifully written.

Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

Worker Mommy said...

The memories we don't want to remember and yes nothing brings back a memory like certain scents.
I had a bad falling out with a girlfriend several years ago and I still think about her every now and then. Even though she said and did some horrible things and I haven't talked with her in several years i still think about her and wonder if I should reach out /or what she's doing...
Odd how that happens isn't it ?

Blog Antagonist said...

Oh gosh yes. Smells do that to me too. I wonder if it is a woman thing? I never hear my husband mention smells from his childhood. They are so terribly evocative, they almost hurt. That was a lovely description.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I have had this same experience. Why...when we are SO much happier and better off...do memories like this plague us? Maybe it is just a slightly painful reminder of how far we have come....yeah, that is what I choose to believe!

Kristin said...

I can't get a whiff of tuberose without being 22 again and dating a sweetheart called, "Spike"... you are right... it's scent and music that take me back every time.

Oh, The Joys said...

Who is he?

(And what did you do to your leg?)

Nancy said...

Sometimes the slightest scent can stir the deepest memories.

Beautiful post.

Dorky Dad said...

Stupid sense of smell. Always conjuring up old memories. Drives me nuts.

And only old women garden? Does that make me an old woman? Crap.

slackermommy said...

I also have a smell thing. I would smell my great-grandma for many years after she died.

Ally said...

Oh, the power of smell-related memories! I have plenty of those, too. Some good and some painful. This was beautifully written and compelling to read.

Yvonne said...

Amen Mamma.