“Touch,” Keats, aptly said, “has a memory.”
It does indeed.
These are memories I can’t erase, even if I tried.
I do not try.
There are unwritten rules carved into my unloved landscape.
Don’t surprise me.
Don’t hit. Ever.
Don’t crowd me.
Don’t consume me.
Don’t corner me.
Oh… touch has a memory indeed.
I have birthed three babies, I have loved two more that belong to others. Touch has been so much a part of my mothering it is an extension of the protective, nurturing love that I have for each of these. While those babies were being nourished by me, I rubbed their heads, their backs, and crooned over them. I wanted to imprint on their very souls the stamp of love. I knew touch had a memory. I will never forget – they will not either. We are all rememberers – what we remember is where we differ.
Where they know privilege, I knew deprivation.
Where they know plenty, I knew poverty.
Where they know presence, I knew vacancy.
Where they know peace, I knew violence.
Where they know tenderness, I knew torture.
Where they know choice, I knew coercion.
Where they know fullness, I knew hunger.
Where they know safety, I knew danger.
Where they know beauty, I knew brutality.
I do all that I can leave them with something they will remember long after I leave them, and leave them I will. They are rememberers too.
Those are memories that they could not erase, even if they tried. They won’t try.
The unwritten rules will be carved into their loved landscape.
Brutality to beauty in one generation.