4 February 2014

An unlikely tale

I claim to remember the day I was born, a possibility reinforced by the testimony of my mother.

I have a blurry memory, like a slow video replay, which I discovered in my head at a young age, and after watching it play through many times I mentioned it to Mum, and her response surprised me.

This memory gives me the impression of lying on my back, and there is a high white panel rising up beside me, to the right, but then it seems to move aside in a gradual motion that I could now interpret as perhaps a door that was open being pushed closed. Then a high wide blue blurred shape appears beside me, looming over me, and at the top of the blue there is a fleshy blob framed in black, which approaches, moves down, very close to me, but never resolves itself into focus. And then another big blob moves in from the left, a bright pink one this time, with another roundish hazy blob on top, that moves in on me too, then rises up, and then the silent images stop.

This scene replays within my mind any time I want it to. I have, of course, just watched it again right now. And when I first told Mum about it, as a young boy, I do remember that she seemed puzzled, and frowned, then said, 'Goodness, that sounds like the day you were born.'

I was born at home and my mum explained how on my first day of life I was in a cot tucked in behind a white door to my right, and there was a big fat dark-haired midwife in blue and my mother was in a bright pink nightdress, resting on the bed over to the left of the cot. And on the day after my birth my cot was moved over to beside the window, with its green curtains - a quite different landscape altogether.

'As a baby, you were never right beside a door on your right ever again,' said Mum, 'and these colours and positions exactly match the few hours after you were born.'

And so she implanted my suspicion that I may remember the day I was born.

I don't know if it's true or not. I don't know if anything is true or not, but I have heard tales of other people who claim to remember their birth, or just after it, but then lots of other people are deluded nuts.


susan said...

I don't remember my birth but I did describe to my mother a room where I laid in my pram when two women came to look at me. The hood of the pram was down, there were lace curtains in the bay window to my right, and the women I described were my paternal grandmother and her sister. We moved from that place when I was six months old. My mother was surprised I remembered.

Syncopated Eyeball said...

Truly amazing. I think I'm glad I don't remember my birth: I got stuck coming out face first and had to be pulled out with forceps. My poor mum!

Claude said...

I love your story. I wish I had such a lucid memory of my beginning.

I used to remember things from the time I was three and a half. I'm glad I wrote some of those moments, a few years back. Now I tend to forget even what I did last week!!!!!

Keep writing, fast and long, Andrew, before everything goes into smoke like with me presently.

What's your name again?

Andrew MacLaren-Scott said...

Your memory is interesting Susan.

Ashley - arriving face first and stuck for a while suggests life was never too easy for you from the start. I think I came out easily enough but the difficulties arrived soon enough.

Thanks Claude. It's a game eh, this life. Some game. Maybe as the smoke dissipates your consciousness will suddenly be able to laugh at it all and go "Ohhhhhh... So it was all a big joke eh? Ha ha. Very funny. What next?" :) (Although of course I do rather doubt that, but the joke may be on me)

Syncopated Eyeball said...

I think I took a look outside and thought 'Oh, no, I don't want to go out there!'. I often feel the same nowadays.