“We can never go back to Manderley. But sometimes, in my dreams, I do go back.” — the second Mrs. DeWinter, Rebecca, by Daphne du Maurier
Today I’ve had occasion to remember places from my past, for different reasons.
1) Over the weekend my sister and I accepted an offer on the house in Lago di Carlo. I knew I would not be returning when I left in March, of course. And that house - that house as the home of our parents - ceased to exist when it was emptied. Oddly, right now my memory seizes on obscure, inconsequential things: the way the inside of the front hall closet smelled, where all the slide carousels were stacked up over the coats, including Daddy’s brown leather coat; the sound made by the sliding doors of the craft supplies cabinet, the extra brightness of the lights in the master bedroom, the stickpins Mother put in the curtains in that room to be sure that they’d be completely closed. That house was not my childhood home, but I spent two to three weeks total there almost every year since 1986, and I knew all its corners, and most idiosyncracies of most of the lightswitches. I knew it was coming, but it closes a chapter even more firmly.
2) Everyone has places they go back to that were important to them earlier in life, for any number of reasons. One of those places is no longer available to me (with apologies for the vagueness, I just don’t want to get into specifics), and since the news was sudden and quite unexpected, it’s hard to adjust.
3) From Rebecca, also in the clip linked above: “Moonlight can play odd tricks upon the fancy.” And that is kind of how I feel right now. Memory and Suddenness are taking me . . . well, it’s like looking into the folds of curtains. You see things that aren’t always seen, but they’ve always been there.