Posts Tagged ‘memory’

Margaret Barr, Dancer

September 5, 2008

I’ve been doing a bit of checking up. The dance instructor who gets a mention in my previous Stravinsky blog had a name. But we knew that. Just that I didn’t know what it was, or how significant it was. My brother has filled in the gap. So in honour of the name, here’s a bit more of the memory.

I mentioned her round shape in the blog because roundness wrapped in black tights was not what I expected of a dancer. Dancers are tall and slender. Even this sixteen year old knew that. But what I remember was how she moved. I can still remember my amazement when she moved. It was like watching the impossible. It was so fluid and light and natural that something clicked in my memory. What clicked was a little switch labelled, “Keep this one.”

And I have kept it. It doesn’t come out much, that memory, but it’s still there. The memory of a stereotype challenged. The memory of a person freed from my smallness of mind. The memory of a talent so obvious that it confronted me with my own ignorance. And my clumsiness.

And it was because of this person that I found myself with a spray gun amid nymphs.

Life is gift.


December 15, 2007

I blogged a little while ago on two ‘Gone’ guys here in Australia. And the opposite of gone?

How about that guy in the UK who walked into a Police Station and said he’s just come out of amnesia? Couldn’t remember anything for the last five years, he said. There he was out canoeing and suddenly he’s somewhere else and he’s lost five years of everything he ever knew.

Turns out he’s changed his story since then. They can do wonders these days with the right medicine. But he did give them a clue or two. Well, for a start, how did he know it was five years if he had amnesia? Bit of a give-away, that one.

Then again, the man used to be a prison officer. Perhaps he’s just used to measuring time in 5 year lots. Most guys doing time would rather forget about it, so I can’t say I blame him for not wanting to remember anything.

Not only that, but his wife has started to remember some stuff about him as well, such as how he was living in their wardrobe for years when everybody else thought the poor bloke was dead. OK, I promise I won’t make any Narnia jokes. But C.S.Lewis must be turning in his grave. And that was not a Narnia joke.

Everyone knows that you have to have a good memory if you are going to be a successful liar. So claiming to have forgotten absolutely everything means you start out dead in the water. People are starting to wonder if his story has more holes in it than his canoe seems to have had.

One can only wonder what makes a man pretend to have amnesia. I’m sure all that life insurance money that his wife had already spent had a bit to do with it. However much it was. Can’t recall just now but it’ll come to me.

For a while there I thought the two might have called the whole charade to a halt so they could sell the story to the newspapers. But then I thought, ‘What would they be able to write about?’ Let’s face it, a secret life in a wardrobe is not very eventful. Unless you are C.S.Lewis, of course. But he’s already claimed that as his own and I do not think that Mr Darwin is going to be getting any awards on this trick.

So there we have it. Welcome back to the wide-awake, dimly remembered, not so happy world of the un-gone.