- This is in answer to:
- What is your earliest memory? See all answers
- November 9, 2010 by assentia
- Back in the Day...
Toddler moments of awareness.
Early memories are tricky. How on earth can you be sure that what you remember happening is what you remember and not what you visualised after you were told by the adults involved (especially if your mother has the habit of 'reminding' you of this and that and the other repeatedly over the years...), or even what you have randomly created yourself for no apparent reason?
Case in point: I could swear that my first clear memory of myself is dancing to ABBA's 'Money, Money, Money' in our vast (to my toddler eyes) flat kitchen on a summer day, making the most of the sound effects of my tiny Dr Scholls on the mosaic floor. Except it couldn't have happened, because the song was released in autumn 1976, when we had already moved out of the flat with the vast mosaic kitchen and into one with a tiny kitchen and an extension room with a hardwood floor. For the memory to be true, I should have tuned myself to Bjorn and Benny's brainwaves instead of airwaves, a couple of years in advance. Could it have been some other ABBA song, say, a hit during the summer of 1975? Sure - only I'm positive the 'memory' is about 'Money, Money, Money', because my garbled version of the words stayed with me for several years afterwards.
On the other hand, I believe I remember for myself seeing a historical building in Ioannina, where we lived at the time, burn down. It was the house of one of Ali Pasha's love interests; not sure if it was Kyra Frosyni or Kyra Vasiliki (although the former is more likely; the latter was not a local, and as a concubine she would have lived with him in his lake isle palace, not in town), which should have been standing there since the 1700s. I remember it being a cold evening, myself being held up by my father among the crowd, and seeing flames leaping up out of the top floor windows. That's all.
This is where my mother's narration comes into play. She has often mentioned an accident I had at home, during Holy Week 1974, when escaping my aunt's vigilance for a moment earned me a slam against the balcony doors and a bruised lip (lucky, lucky me) and I had to be taken out for a stroll to calm down my sobbing. If the event happened on that evening (it is still chilly at night around Easter up there), then that accident allowed me to see the last of a town landmark.
I've done some research, but with Greek material being still so scarce on the net, I have yet to verify even the disaster, let alone if witnessing it, a month or so before my second birthday, is actually my first real memory.