Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My long-standing relationship with the airborne ghosts is thus revived again.

Memories are sometimes so intriguing. Consider the time when I was in the forest of Kyushu, near my mother’s parents’ house, and suddenly encountered a huge swarm of butterflies. The species was Common Bluebottle (Graphium sarpedon). Common Bluebottle, as the name suggests, is not a rare butterfly. Numerous times, I have seen them in isolation, or in a group of few. However, never before had I seen literally tens of them flying around a tree in full bloom. The flowers were white and small. The Common Bluebottles were scattered over the sky. It was such a breathtaking sight.

I was about 6 or 7, and lots of water has flown under the bridge since then. It is such an enigma why and how such memories stay, and from time to time surge out of my unconscious. It did surge this morning, and that is why I am writing about this particular piece of childhood memory in this journal.

It is also interesting how with the procession of time the memory has kind of “purified” itself, assuming an almost mythical nature within my mind. I know these butterflies to have perished long ago, in that summer of my throbbing encounter. Their phantoms however continue to thrive in my mind, synaptically reinforced every time I remember that chance meeting. My long-standing relationship with the airborne ghosts is thus revived again.


maruko247 said...

I have seen and even touched many endangered species. I cannot, however, claim to have had any interaction with one that has since perished. It must make the loss that much more heartrending.

Last night, I attended a talk given by Casson Trenor, author of book “Sustainable Sushi” at the Foreign Press Club. Interesting perspective, not quite what I was expecting. If his suggestions really mean hope for the future of our ocean and all its inhabitants . . . and the future, too, of sushi . . . I feel close to becoming a convert.

Pupa said...

"Their phantoms however continune to thrive in my mind,synaptically reinforced every time I remember that chance meeting."

I feel "throbbing encounter" is at the core of these memories.
I also have my ghost, that is a black swallowtail on the hollyhock in our garden. I was about five or six.

It is interesting that we never revive them without enshrining the original impression.
That may be the reason why they are treasure of mind.
As you say, mythology is thriving in our mind !

砂山鉄夫(Tetsu Sunayama) said...

The Unconscious and Memory are intangible. But both of them sometimes make us act in this real life. Hmm, how interesting and strange...

maruko247 said...

On the subject of intriguing recollections, this weekend will see a number of us trying to piece together old and faded memories at a reunion of kindergarten classmates. The feeling of belonging is strong in us displaced gaijin who look to Japan as home, long after many of us have moved away to other shores. I wonder though, is a kindergarten reunion pushing the limits of nostalgic reminiscences? We will start gently tomorrow with a reintroduction to the names and faces from our distant past . . .