I can remember back to when I was 2-3 years old.

Good memories and bad memories. Big family parties and a small kitchen knife that stuck into my finger when I was washing dishes in my diaper.

(I’ll show you the scar.)

But my memories are mostly good, because it was mostly good.

(And, thankfully – It’s still is mostly good.)

But memories…
Memories triggered by a sound or smell.
Memories that keep me going when I need something to keep me going.

Memories of living on Darling St. in Southington and warming up tinfoil chocolate Santa’s on a neighbor’s grill, then ripping through the woods on a moped, strapped to one of my brothers.

Who was that neighbor?
Do I ever see them anymore?
Do they ever see me?
35 years later…

Memories of being in school on the day before Thanksgiving or the day before Christmas break.

Specific memories where you can remember minute details, captured for a reason and triggered randomly in the modern moment…

First kisses..
… On a school bus.
… Thinking how I hope my daughters don’t have their first kiss on a school bus..
… Unless they can kiss that girl..
… And I know that sounds weird.

Last kisses…
… Crying in a parking lot and saying goodbye for the first and last time – and when the memory is recalled, playing out how it could have gone better or worse…

Sunsets in other states…
Sunrises in other countries…
Colorado and Vermont vying for a tie…
Sweden and Copenhagen mixed up in the fog of my mind..
My backyard beating them all..

The last time my grandmother spoke to me as I held her hand in a cold and lonely hospital room…

She could only speak Polish because that last stroke tore through her like a late August thunderstorm..

Even though I had never heard her speak Polish before.

I think my mom was there.
But that I can’t remember…

The first time Penny looked at me and said “Daddy”. Rolling over in bed and tapping me on the arm. Smiling – and letting it loose to see how I would react.

It was her first word.

That time Quinn was genuinely upset about something and I saw it in her eyes. I saw it. I could see the sadness. And I stopped breathing for just a minute. And it felt like we were one person. That connection.

We’re still connected…

(And now I’m crying…)

Some memories are pointed and some are just random – but they’re all significant in the time that we recall them.

Good and bad, they help us put one foot in front of the other – whether we need that extra push or not.

Memories are dreams that really happened. They’re the building blocks of how we get to where we are and how we avoid going to where we shouldn’t have been going.

We are the clay, and they are the warm hands that shape us..

There’s no need to live in the past – but you should never forget where you came from – because it got you to where you are today.


Published by Ragged

I’m here in the now, trying to experience life while living it...

One thought on “Clay

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