The moth in this photo reminded me of Mothra. All moths remind me of Mothra. I don’t recall much about the film, just the giant moth with the little twin ladies who rode on its back. I formed an affectionate bond with it. Why? I’m not really sure… it was a long time ago.
One day when I was about five years old I went to the children’s playground in the park with a friend. There was a giant climbing frame. It was BIG and TALL to a small child. A tower… to be conquered once I got over my fear of climbing so high, which took about three minutes.
An age of minutes later I was bored.
The tower had been conquered.
Time to jump the short distance between the tower’s top platform and the fireman’s pole which took you down in sliding quickness into the sandpit below. I was scared of making the jump, it seemed so far and what if I missed the pole? But I did it and didn’t miss. It was fun, so I did it again and again until I was bored of that too.
Time to jump off the top platform of the tower. No, really, that was the natural evolution of things. So I did it after an eternal pause of hesitation.
I landed hard on my butt and jolted my spine. I was brought down to earth with a very real bang from the dizzy heights of fun. Reminded that my mind may think I’m immortal, that pain is just another fear to be conquered, but my body is mortal and pain is a signal to take care of it. Time to stop playing and go home.
I walked the short distance home, my lower back feeling sore. My mind was sore too. I was annoyed with myself for going too far with my play, yet at the same time I was glad that I had done the jump even though it was very stupid.
The following day I couldn’t stand up. My legs buckled under my body and gave way. Time to crawl… like I did as a baby.
I crawled over to a chair in front of the TV, lifted myself up into it and spent three days watching films. Those three days is how long it took for my body to recover and heal itself from a bruised spine.
What I watched drew me into a fascinating world of giant monsters. Godzilla. And Mothra… how I loved Mothra!
Memories are strange things. Especially the ones which randomly pop up and seem to have nothing to do with anything in the present, as though the mind is cleaning out the closet of remembrance and asking us – Remember this? You haven’t used it in ages, do you still want to keep it? It’s taking up space which could be useful for a new memory. Are you keeping it as a nostalgic memento or does it actually have some practical purpose?
We rarely remember anything correctly. Our mind snatches bits and pieces, scraps of a moment, and sews them together into a quilt. Some scraps don’t even belong to us, they’re things which other people told us about an event and they said it so convincingly that we believed it and now remember it as though it was ours.
All those anecdotes your parents tell about you as a child… are they really true? Hard to know sometimes because you just can’t bring that time sharply into focus to recall your experience of it, so sometimes you accept someone else’s version of what happened because we like to fill in the blanks of our biographies.
What purpose do memories serve?
Why am I hanging onto the Story of Mothra? Not the memory of the film, I didn’t hang on to that, but that day of play in the park which led me to discover Mothra.
This memory has popped up quite often in the course of my life. Usually when I see a moth, but not every time I see a moth or I’d never stop thinking about this memory. I used to consider it very random. It bothered me because I saw it as reminding me how stupid I can be. It seemed to be one of those memories which likes to torture us with our flaws. You know who have flaws, they can be useful, they keep your feet on the ground, and inspire you, but they’re not useful when they keep being used by you to hurt yourself.
But then, as I was writing about it for this post, I saw something which I hadn’t noticed before – which is one of the reasons I like to write about myself and my life, and in many ways is the main reason I do it. It showed me. Not the outer me who thinks I’m this or that, bad or good, or both or neither, and who is constantly trying to shape myself into a better this or that. It revealed my inner core self. The being I am underneath all my concepts of myself and the ideals which I have for myself, which I use to inspire me to strive to make them real.
So, in essence, each time that memory randomly pops up, it is relevant to the present as it is prompting me to remember who I am and what I’m like. I do have a tendency to forget, to lose focus… and it is saying to me – this is the one thing you need to focus upon. This is you. Just be yourself and trust that you know what you’re doing even when you’re certain that you don’t. You do. You have a natural urge to be you.
The title of this post comes from a quote in the film which I found on IMDb. I think it suits the message of the memory. Your core self, rescues all the other yous living inside of you, and those who seem to live outside, because it binds them all together. It binds you together. And it returns you to the island of you. Your core self.
Or something like that.
“The present was an egg laid by the past that had the future inside its shell.” ― Zora Neale Hurston
I wonder how many of my other random memories have a similar message?