I’ve read somewhere that memories are not the actual facts of what happened but our memory of the actual memory. Seems that each time we remember a certain event/situation or context of our past it is just a mere reconstruction of our last time we remembered it. Each time we think of that specific event in time we extrapolate our memories and mold it to fit better in accordance with our thoughts of it.
In December, 1989 I was 8 years old. I don’t remember much but fragments of those frantic winter days when “the revolution” happened. The most I remember, tough: that restlessness feeling. You could feel in the air: big things are happening, the adults we’re excited/alert/alive. My grand parents are the main adult figures I remember from those days since I was in their care, and I’ve never seen them so happy like that late December days. A big grin on my grand father wrinkly face. Light, sparkling eyes and hope. That’s right, there was hope that could be visible on them. Both were more alert than usual and my grand mother was preparing the dow for baking our Christmas bread: I can feel the smell and the texture of dow that my grand mother was punching with even more fierceness than her usual tiny self.
I think I never fully understood the grandeur of those days and what my grand parents really felt. Until these last few days. The country that gained its freedom 27 years ago from oppression and communist dictatorship, is today in turmoil and pretty much in the same ideological distress. There is the usual battle between good and evil: the honest, the hard working, the common sense people, the beautiful against the corrupt system and the pions making their chess game.
It happens that these days I am in Romania and I can feel the real pulse of my country. And I relate to that. Probably much more for that reason. Despite the resistance of the vicious government, I think that now I feel what my grand parents felt so many years ago. I understand now hearing the exact hymn that was intoned by my co-nationals then and by my people, the ones that i truly know, grew up with in the same system, and i fully indentify with, hearing them singing in unison “Deșteaptă -te române” now.
I am not sure how biased my memory about me at eight years old is, but today I feel that I have the revelation of those early days of naïveté.
So, when I will end up feeling embarrassed by this writing here, at least i am sure that’s exactly how I thought of it now, cannot be undone/molded or biased by my brain to be adapted to my later thinking.
Credit sketch/photo: Perjovschi Dan.