Monday, October 04, 2004

Concept vs Proof

When it comes to early childhood memories, sometimes it doesn't pay to look too deeply into them, or to try to fill gaps between what you know and what you believe. Reality can easily be distorted in scenarios such as these.

A prime example of this stems from an instance in my childhood when I fell into a pool and drowned. I was at my grandparents house outside of Kleinburg, and the truth of what actually happened is kind of sketchy. It was out of season for swimming, the pool was closed up and my grandmother had recently shocked the pool with Chlorine to clean it up. Monkey boy that I apparently was, I somehow circumvented the clothesline wrapped around the door, and the raised ladder leading to the deck. I remember that there was a game of Hide-And-Seek going on, and in my excitement to stay hidden I guess some goofy primal area of my brain thought hiding in the pool would be the perfect spot.

Now why exactly I decided to literally try hiding in the pool instead of just on the deck is beyond me. And that's pretty much where reality and conceptual ideas begin to blur their boundaries. Over the years I have debated this over and over again, coming up with different ideas. Perhaps somebody saw me, and in my excitement to get away I leapt straight into the brackish, poisoned water. Or an even more sinister idea crossed my mind...maybe I was pushed.

My grandparents were foster parents in a time when it was more common to have large groups of kids in your house. Many of these kids were normal children who's parents were going through bad times, but there were the other kids who were extremely troubled and violent. So, when looking for a scapegoat it seemed that might be the logical cause. Seems logical to suggest, but the truth is nothing like that happened. It took me awhile to get over the idea though.

I discovered years later that there had been a small hole on the side of the deck that would have probably been just the right size for a small child, including a little goof like myself, to squeeze through. Children, like small animals, are naturally curious, and very territorial. I had probably discovered this hiding place sometime in the past and this time it reared up and bit me. Or drowned me to be exact.

The point is, by working to blame somebody else for what occured to me, I created a tightness of anger in my being that had no right to be there. Holding this imaginary foster child to blame for my woes solved nothing at all. And what If I had been really serious in my accusation? What if I had reported this concept to somebody? I would have created an imaginary offence that could have hurt plenty of people, all for an idea with no merit.

Plenty of bad things happen to plenty of people. But just remember, if you are working to solve a question from your childhood, don't let conceptual ideas rule your investigation. Especially ideas that have a multiple decade separation where they can be tainted by other events, television and dreams. Too many lives get destroyed from it.

Oh yeah...I was pulled from the water by my grandmother, blue and lifeless. My Aunt Marilyn performed CPR. And I pulled through...as I'm sure you can tell. I hold no grudge against anybody, because there was nobody to blame but a dumb little boy called Little Timmy. And it's no fun to blame yourself...better just to laugh about it and move on with your life.

1 comment:

Rufus said...

Simply beautifully written!

Here's a thought - what if you actually SAW me, say, hit someone? Is that action really as it seems too?

"My god, what a butal person!"
"They're practicing a martial art"
"Anaphylactic bee sting response avoided"
"Part of the script"