16 May 2018.
What is your EARLIEST MEMORY?
How old were you at the time you remember?
When did you first become aware of this memory?
Have you shared this earliest memory with anyone?
My response to these questions:
My earliest memory was of the time when I was a baby in my crib at night. I was born in 1943 during WWII. My father was drafted into the U.S. Army and he was away for 2 years after my birth. He was with Patton’s troops, in Europe.
In my little village in western PA, there were nightly air raid practices; blackouts; and I can still feel the fear.
I was not yet 2 years old, because my father returned after I turned 2.
I was around fifty-five years old when I verbalized the memory for the first time.
I told my mother about the details and fragments of this memory.
My Mother’s response:
I can’t believe you can remember that!
You were only a small baby.
I had questions about my earliest memory; she filled in the blanks.
I have shared this early memory a few times but it is so personal that I am careful who I would share it with. Last year, at the age of 73, I was able to speak of this memory in a poem I wrote.
Because I wrote of a memory that took place well before I had speech, my poem takes on a mythological metaphor to explain what I was feeling and seeing
The poem is “Minotaur.”
You can listen to me reading this poem by clicking on the link below.