How little I know – forever in the children’s room
Whenever I talk to friends about their and my youth, I have the feeling that everyone else remembers rather more than I do. Be it kindergarten events, school anecdotes or first teenage dreams.
For a long time I concluded that they simply interpreted the threads of memory more freely. When I wasn’t in a good mood, I also brooded over the premature onset of dementia. Only recently has a theory of collateral damage been solidified in my mind, i.e. that many memories with formative unpleasant experiences that I should have had were unintentionally buried… by me.
It was Gertrude Stein who spoke of the fact that history takes time to form and that it is ultimately the writing of history that creates its memories. (Original quote: “History takes time. History makes memory.”; quoted from a fridge magnet).
What if we don’t have access to all historical events and the social contexts surrounding them, not because of manipulation, but due to personal reasons like our own self-protection or simply forgetting about them?
I have to think of the piece “Wie wenig du weißt” by Trinkwasser, the joint project by Jörg Burger and Lothar Hempel, now that I’m finally sitting down to pen this text I’ve been carrying around for a few days now.