#LoveMe Challenge Day 11: Share a Smile

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Share a Smile: I’m having difficulty figuring out what to share here, because most of the things that make me smile are photographs and such that I can’t share on here, if I am to maintain anonymity. But I think I’ve figured it out.

I recently watched the movie Hook with my kiddo, which I wrote about in another post. When trying to figure out what “Smile” I should share, I flashed to a part of the movie. Peter, all grown up, has forgotten how to fly. He has to find his happy thought in order to be remember how. And I knew exactly what to share here.

My Memory Palace.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, hit google or watch an episode of Sherlock. Either way, it’s fascinating stuff. Many people use Memory Palaces, or something similar, for memory retention of facts and figures in memory competitions (yup, totally a thing).

Because of my mental illness, particularly the Dissociative Identity Disorder, I already have a more elaborate inner world than most. More like a Memory Apartment Complex.

I chose, a year or two back, that I was going to build a Memory Palace, separate (well, not quite. It’s kind of like an addition), from the already elaborate inner world that lives between my ears. I’m not interested in retaining facts and figures in this instance. I want to save the best memories, the most vivid and precious, and preserve them as best I can.

The Memory Palace is something that I plan to always be building, so it’s not a complete structure. It’s ever evolving and growing, as I add new memories and experiences to it. Let me take you on a tour.

We’re on a porch, made of sun-bleached, unpainted wood. The boards creak beneath our feet, not unsteadily, but simply moaning softly with age and pressure. A handmade wind-chime blows softly with the sound of tinkling seashells. The exterior of the building itself seems to be showing early signs of neglect; the occasional shingle missing, the white paint a duller shade and flecking off in places, revealing the bare wood underneath.

In contrast, the door we stand before looks freshly painted, a glossy, deep burgundy. There is a lions head knocker on the door, and an ornate brass doorknob, both clearly well preserved antiques. The door swings open of it’s own accord, and just as naturally, we are ushered inside and it closes softly behind us.

Before us is a long hallway, with doors of different styles placed at odd intervals down it’s narrow passage. The walls are a soft cream, and the carpet a deep blue, vibrant as if new and never stepped upon. On one wall near the door there is a mirror, framed in wrought iron, with irregular shards of red and mirrored glass adorning the frame. At the end of the hallway there appears to be a stairway leading up, but it is cast in shadow.

The heavy mahogany door to our right is open, and a warm beam of sunlight is spilling out of the door as if it can barely be contained, buttery and bright, bursting into the hall. We walk through the door and find ourselves in a dimly lit but cozy study, with the curtains open just a crack, and small lights and oil lamps burning here and there throughout the room.

One wall features a built in bookshelf that spans it’s entire space, filled with tattered and well-loved books. From the Corner of His Eye. Alone. A Brave New World. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Self Reliance: Essays of Emerson. Our gaze turns from the small library to the chaise in the center of the room, with a coffee table stretched out in front of it and a small round end table to it’s side, spilling over with papers and more books. On the coffee table stands a blue plastic cup with a single dandelion in it, full of life as if just plucked from the earth.  In the corner there is a large desk, flanked by large ceramic bank sculpted into an owl, and an old secretary, one of it’s doors missing it’s glass. There’s a small peg board on the wall, with cut out comic strips and faded photos and notes stuck to it with tacks.

The floor in this room is the same rich wood as the door, and unlike the porch outside, this is polished to a shine, the knots in the wood creating a beautiful and seemingly random pattern on the floor. The scent of spring wafts in through the open window, and on the windowsill there is a silver ring stand, with five rings lazily encircling it, some gold, some silver, some obviously precious in sentiment but not in price.

Everything in this Memory Palace is of value in sentiment, not one detail devoid of meaning and memory and passion and life.

That is my smile. Thanks for reading.

An Anonymous Outsider

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