When we think of childhood memories, it can be a knee-jerk reaction to fall back on a particular incident that was funny or tragic – something that would make for a good anecdote.
Dig deep though, and the route of all memories is more in our senses than our minds. The hundreds of minute details that are logged into our brains, leave a patchwork of reactions that – if triggered – will make us a think of a certain time. I’m definitely no neuro-scientist, but I’m almost certain that’s how it works.
I find, however, that my memories are less jogged by actions or words – I find that recollection of textures is what fires off my synapses to their fullest. This interest and fascination in textures has led me to focusing on Hi-Def photography of interiors and patterns.
In the deep recesses of my mind, locked behind imaginary metallic doors that interlock in the shape of an X and make mechanical sounds when they open, lie my deepest memories. You never know when you’re going to be treated to a minor or major flashback.
In our everyday life, we tread lightly over a veritable minefield of sensations, sounds and simulacrums – each one an explosive of emotional power, lying in wait to provide us with a new revelation of a time once been.
Spending so much time in other people’s homes, I often run the risk of triggering old texture based memories. I’m primed for nostalgia every time I enter someone’s house.
The most recent flashback occurred to me whilst I was shooting an interior of a modern house.
It was just a basic day’s work, getting some shoots for a Liverpool SEO agency.
The place was bright and airy with scent of pine. The brightly coloured wood clad the walls and the ceiling, there were even bright beams supporting the open pine structure. Surrounded by all this pine, I began to find myself drifting in to a past memory.
As I drew my camera out to start shooting, I noticed something.
The floor, in the kitchen that I had just stepped into, looked like pine – I could swear it even smelt like it – but on close inspection it wasn’t pine at all.
Kneeling down, I ran my fingers across its clean, smooth surface and laughed to myself. Of course, it was DIY kitchen laminate flooring. So well, in fact, was this floor disguised that – as I ran my finger across its surface – I felt a surge in my heart as long-buried memories fought their way to break free of my grey matter.
I’m glad that I was alone in the house at this time, because the force of the memory recollection temporarily put my head in a spin. As the memory lit up long forgotten sections of my mind, I gritted my teeth and felt the pulse on my hands as I felt the glow of memory alight in me.
I was back in school – I’d just been shoved on to my knees, there was a pressure on the back of my head – firm and forceful. I heard a laugh, fear struck me cold. It was a callous chuckle, uncaring and unhappy, cutting me to the quick. As I braced myself for an impact, I opened my eyes and cried out.
But I was back in the Modern house. Shaking, shivering in cold sweat – my damp face pressed against the DIY kitchen laminate flooring.