Memories: The Cat's Claw

Memories can be painful, but they are one's most powerful source in writing. Here are the thoughts of one writer, Greg Bell, as he brilliantly grapples with the dark side of why and how we push our memories away.

I often wonder how people, especially the ones I know or family of mine, can't remember those little things. Why the postcards and pictures of our past aren't clear for them to see. Why the postage wasn't sufficient to make it to the front office. Maybe it's because those memories or maybe the meaty parts of those memories are locked in a chest of their own making. Because sometimes it's easier, sometimes it's best to let the lock lay through the hasp, let the key dangle from the ring. Sometimes maybe there's something else in the chest too. It's not always the meaty parts that scare you or you're not proud of. It's the gristly little pieces, the crinkly pieces wrapped in a curly-cue, rolling about between the bones of "used to be" and "never was." The dry scaly bits of broken off promises, "better not look's" and "I'm gonna tell mom."

Those are the pieces that stick like a cat's claw in a new sweater. To pull a loop and unravel what looked "oh so pretty" when you put it on, but just one little romp in the "remember when" box and "oopsy daisy" there go the toothy grin and the snappy comebacks; the high and mighty and the easy smiles. Because that old rusty trunk holds more than she lets on, in fact you can't right tell just what you're in for when the lid starts creaking and the dark light of what's been shut up spills out like the inky dark if an old tomb.

What does remembering feel like to you? Sunny or dark, write this feeling.

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