Monday, December 19, 2016

the return

For years my quest was exploration, but as I have learned of late, there is something equally intoxicating in the return.  As I peer around old corners that I remembered, as I catch the familiar smell of baking bread wafting down the same alleys, I am taken to a netherworld that exists outside of time.  A wormhole of nostalgia and memory.

I write this from the balcony of a tea house on the edge of the perfumed gardens of the casbah d'oudayas.  I sip sweet mint tea and eat almond paste cookies covered in fine powdered sugar as the rains trickle down and the Bouregreg River laps against its shores.

Conrad was too apt.  Memory and nostalgia are willful and capricious, but they are also lurid stimulants.  Taste and smell are so intimately tied to memory.  I ate these same cookies and sipped this tea from the same vantage point 15 years ago; I wandered down these same pastel alleys, past the same brass rosettes and intricate brass knockers; past the same intricately patterned tile wells.

I loved it all then, yet the taste is more sweet and meaningful, the patterns more ornate now because they have been given the lurid varnish of nostalgia to amplify their value.  I loved it once; I value and treasure these same memories even more now in the present.

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