Art of Remembering 2

[This entry is a creative experiment in writing about memories, as an extension of last week’s post.]

I’m holding a squeaky giraffe.  It’s small to my mother and brother watching, but big to me.  Two round ears and a little round pink nose sticks out of a round smiling face.  The face sits atop a long slender tan neck.  That’s most of the toy, the neck.  My little fingers first grasp the long part then slid down to its flat end where the squeak comes out.  I squeeze.  *SQUEAK SQUEAK*

I’m sure I have other noisy toys but this one is my favorite.  It makes the right sort of squeak so that Mom doesn’t get annoyed and make me stop.  Right now, Mom and Cappy encourage me to pose for the camera.  He stands over me, dressed in his ROTC uniform with the shiny buttons and yellow braid.  He’s holding a big camera; the round part points at me.  I’m distracted, still squeaking Giraffe. *SQUEAK SQUEAK*

It’s daytime but dark enough in the living room for Mom to turn on a lamp.  It still seems dark, though.  She reclines at the end of the long, green, curved sofa, and waves the camera away when it points at her.  She doesn’t want Cappy to take her picture.  I bounce around a bit and find myself off the carpet and in a corner by the television; it’s taller than me and its edge sticks out above me.  My little red shoes make noise on the wooden floor.  *tap tap* *SQUEAK SQUEAK*

“Look up Judi, look at the camera,” Cappy says.  I adore my big brother and smile up at him.  I try to focus on the round part but it’s fuzzy.  Mom smiles which makes me smile harder.  She’s happy.  They all are happy suddenly, looking at me, murmuring encouragement to me.  My arm swings Giraffe and some how its flat end now rests on top of my head.  I’m delighted it still makes noise if I use my head. *bop bop*  *SQUEAK SQUEAK*


The camera whirls and clicks.  Mom and Cappy talk.  I can’t hear everything, but I understand that the camera is new and he’s playing with it.  We are going outside to play some more.  I’m dressed in a light blue coat over my pants and top and taken into the backyard.  Cappy tells me to stand over there. I run deeper into the yard.  He’s saying other things I can’t hear now.  He’s very fuzzy but I know he has the camera.  I try to pose but the sun is in my eyes and I’m not sure what to do. I don’t have Giraffe.  Cappy says a few more things and then it’s over.  He turns away; he’s done.  I stand there, not knowing what to do next.

I am four.



10 thoughts on “Art of Remembering 2

  1. Hi Judiang,
    What a sweet memory!  Do you have the pictures and that is what sparked you to remember it?   Or, was it a hint of light blue?  Does blue have significance for you as it might for me? (Blue tulled Degas ballerinas on my bedroom drape curtains.)
    Or, was your memory recalled by having your brother focus the camera lens on you then, capturing those moments–perhaps your wondering what he thought he was capturing about your essence? How do what you might attribute your brother’s reflections to be–and now your own reflections through this remembering series–coalesce?
    It is not a question that requires your response.  The question just occurred to me since your essay caused me to reflect about similar instances in my own life, and what they might mean to me.  So, actually, I am posing that question to myself.   See?  As a good writer, you not only shared a bit of yourself with us, but you caused us–me, anyway–to reflect upon my own experiences.
    Cheers!   Grati  ;->
    P.S.  And for me, I was so often the photographer growing up, that I am not in as many family pictures as I might have liked.  I am there, but behind the camera.   Hmmmm.

    • I’ve never been quite sure why this particular memory presents itself out of my other 4 year old memories.  Maybe it was the intense attention I was suddenly getting while my brother played with his new camera.  It doesn’t seem like I can recall thinking anything as a very young child, but I’m sure I thought something.  I can only surmise as an adult.

      Glad it’s gotten you thinking too. Now I don’t feel so much dread in having published it.  🙂

  2. Aaargh – I wans’t the family photog. I made short work of all my photos of my 3 fat teen years – but no doubt a brother or sister is just waiting to produce a fat fitzg.

    judi, that is a good memory of yours, even the confusion at the end. I think there is more to come?

    • I don’t know.  This was an experiment.  Not sure it warrants the space, keeping in mind this is a blog with readers to consider.

  3. I didn’t get a push email for this, so I just ran across this accidentally; I also wondered if this was a memory sparked by a picture or independently of that; I think you should keep going. The most evocative moment is the end, at which your brother suddenly appears absent and you are disoriented. Why?

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