Hot Memory

Stirring my tea in Cornwall, I pressed the teabag against the mug’s side and old John’s face came into mind from Bristol, who told me once that the teabag should never be pressed so, but lifted in and out. I watched him tell me this by the his kitchen counter and then I watched my tea again on this Cornish table. Sometimes people say time flies, but a particular memory can hit from a past that feels so distant to seem hardly even real, and can be such a rare remembrance as to stun you in realising just how many moments it is that you have lived, while furthermore how many will never be recollected. The distance between that memory and today’s tea is five years, and watching it brew further, I in turn think to my own brewing, and how in old age a surprising memory will knock me back at another tea, all the more surreal for being selected from a far bigger and worse organised catalogue, diving deeper every year, triggered unpredictably by an act that occurs every day, as the hot water swirls and chases after itself, forging a whirlpool of memory.

About Sam

Hi I'm Sam and I write here exclusively at Samuel's Travels. Exclusively as by and large no-one wants me writing anywhere else. Please enjoy yourself while reading.
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2 Responses to Hot Memory

  1. You are not the first to be transported by dunking something in a cup of tea. Marcel Proust turned the the past moments that flooded him into a seven volume novel.

    ‘No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. … Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? … And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.’

    As before you keep good company. xx

  2. And of course the final moments from Bladerunner: ”All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in the rain… Time to die.”

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