One hundred hours of forgetting – a thousand years of memory

by Barbara Maria Rathbone

We can all do this.  Maybe these moments are all that matter – maybe they form the soul. This is just an exercise in forgiving time for moving on, changing and changing us; for it really doesn’t matter when the exuberant or delicate pictures of our senses touched and moved mark the beginning and end of us. These moments are our immeasurable experience of a lively and sensual world and a reminder that we are born to be only our essence – disparate, passionate and free.

There may be hundreds, there may be ten. Here are some of mine in no order, just as I feel them come back to me:

Chartres Cathedral. Aged six. The impact of stained glass. I wept.

Seeing the Hrad across the Charles Bridge in Prague for the first time, in moonlight.

Paddling in coral sand, aged seven, Connemara, Ireland.

The Bach Concerto for Two Violins. Largo. Always as if I would float away.

The scent of lilac.

Singing The Chorus Mysticus in Mahler 8, conducted by Klaus Tennstedt.

Under a lemon tree with a lover on Hydra.

My true ‘inner smile’ revisiting me, not that long ago, looking into the azure sky across the Thames,  listening to Chopin.

First day in Florence two years ago – breathing in liberty.

Discovering Beethoven piano sonatas, aged 12.

My mother’s embrace.

Evening in the Piazza Bra in Verona, after performing Rossini in the Arena.

Moments when I live inside the worlds I have created in my books. Knowing their colours, music and fragrance.

Sunset: pink, peach and refulgant, anywhere.

A voice – the most silken sounding rich voice.

The opera Garnier,  Paris. Always.

A beautiful head resting on me.

Ladurée macarons crumbling into my lap sitting on the Pont des Arts.

THE kiss… I’ll say no more…

~Et in Arcadia ego~