Cool Breeze and Catfish

No not catfished, catfish. Specifically fresh, thin, and fried.

Earlier this week, out of no where, this thought walked into my headspace and altered me a bit. Wait a second, what about the good memories? What about the good times I had as a child in my family?

Most of the time I’ve been focused on the not-good memories, trying to glean understanding of how they affected me, but this week I started to wonder about the good memories? Do they have things to teach us too? Can they also reveal to us secret bits about who we are? And better still, why we are the way we are?

I think I have long felt conflicted with these two types of memories coexisting. Good and not good. I think I felt that one would negate the others existence. If I have good memories, then I should be grateful and realize that my childhood was not that bad and that I’m probably being overdramatic about the negatives… But if there are not good memories, then they should all be not good.

But now… I think I’m learning to integrate ALL memories. Honestly, there are a lot of things I don’t remember from growing up, but I want to. I’m writing down what I know, which sometimes opens the door to others. Other times it stops with the one. Some feel so strangely random that I’m convinced they must hold some sort of keys.

One of the most sensory detailed memories I have was from a beginning of fall evening at home. The weather had just turned mildly brisk and our windows were open. I feel like it was probably a Friday. Our dad was frying catfish in the kitchen, which was not a frequent thing. I can hear the loud sizzle of the oil. I can feel the excitement of the cooler weather and the warmth that our home felt in that moment. I can absolutely smell it. The fried battered goodness. I can taste the crispy crusted, flakey white fish meat dipped in ketchup for a cold, tangy twist. The buttered white bread toasted on the side.

I ache for whatever that feeling was. Wholeness maybe? Contentment? Safety? Maybe it was the fact that it felt like a home. I remember feeling excited. Happy even. I don’t remember eating together as a family. I don’t remember what the rest of that Friday evening looked like. I don’t remember what was said or what happened the next day. I don’t even remember how old I was for this. But what I do remember is the longing for this feeling. The ache to go back to whatever that was.

And so I’ll sit with this good memory for awhile as I do with the not-good memories, trying to figure out why fried catfish, buttered white toast, and ketchup makes me want to cry.

2 responses to “Cool Breeze and Catfish”

  1. I always have brief moments in time as memories with nothing before or after. Some of them are good, and some of them are not good. But in the end, they’ve all made me who I am today. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. DITTO THAT! And I’m grateful for the way that they’ve shaped me. ❤️ I think I’m learning to balance.

      Liked by 1 person

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