Jon Aquino's Mental Garden

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Friday, July 03, 2009

Eye Level

I’m sitting on the floor upstairs, at the eye level I had as a seven-year old. This house is a part of me—there are 32 years of memories that I can see in the walls, in the rooms, in the tables, even in the windows, through which we crawled to get onto the roof to sing. And yet everything has changed—the carpets have changed, the walls have changed, beds have been moved, furniture has been donated and replaced. My parents’ bedroom is now the office in which I work, and I never dreamed as a seven-year old that a little silver box with twinkling green lights would connect me to the entire world.

I look down the staircase at a sheet of paper stuck on the wall, the only visible memento of five arduous years of my life, spent away from this house. How I longed to return to this house, to the sunny kitchen with its high sloping roof, and the living room that was rarely entered, and the garage, heavy with memories, of tin cars and goalie pads, model ships and electric motors.

Someone recently asked me what keeps me in Victoria. I replied that it’s my hometown, the place of my childhood, the place I have always dreamed I would live. It’s a certain truth that you become a part of the place you live and it occupies a place inside you.


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