In the Spirit of Misremembrance

“Oh my god! I’m remembering something that never even happened!” exclaimed an old friend when I remarked that her remembrance of an event was wrong. But memory has never been a reliable source of history, whether personal or collective. It is in the spirit of such misremembering that I share these fictions with you. They are favorites of mine.

“Imagine this: there was a time in history, a long time ago, when the bounce and sway of a woman’s hips was considered so beautiful they set it to music and made a dance out of it.”

Caroleena Nericcio The Art of Belly Dance

 

“There was a time when you were not a slave, remember that. You walked alone, full of laughter, you bathed bare-bellied. You say you have lost all recollection of it, remember. The wild roses flower in the woods. Your hand is torn on the bushes gathering the mulberries and strawberries you refresh yourself with. You run to catch the young hares that you flay with stones from the rocks to cut them up and eat all hot and bleeding. You know how to avoid meeting a bear on the track. You know the winter fear when you hear the wolves gathering. But you can remain seated for hours in the tree-tops to await morning. You say there are no words to describe this time, you say it does not exist. But remember. Make an effort to remember. Or, failing that, invent.”

Monique Witting Les Guérilleres

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