In Simone ten Hompelís memory there is a sweet jar brimming with lilac pastilles, and as she lifts the stopper their aromatic scent floats up around her and she can taste their perfumed sweetness, feel their gummy texture melting on her tongue. For a moment, her childhood twines around her as time steps out of itself and doubles back.
We all live surrounded by the stuff of memory but for the most part it is unassuming, quiet, so that we move around it unaware and the past remains tamped down within the jar. But then suddenly we trip against it, dislodging the lid, and memory leaps from the opening, insistent, vital. Or sometimes, in the iridescent gleam of the jarís surface or the silvery sheen of the spoon we are lifting to our lips, we seem to catch sight of a blurred half-remembered reflection and turn our heads quickly to see whatís there; but even as we do so, the memory slips away, leaving only the evanescing shadow of its brief presence.
Spoons. Bowls. Jars. Containers. These are the stuff of our daily lives: dependable and utilitarian; and we barely notice if they also carry the ghost memories of their own pasts disguised within form and function.
But Simone has noticed for us.
Caroline Morpeth, September 2010
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