Every now and then the past can come back and surprise you. Sometimes it’s a more subtle process, so that you seem to have no memory of something and THEN a little later on you do. Let me explain; a few weeks before Christmas my two friends Bob and Sue contacted me separately to let me know they had found a slim, self-published volume of my poetry on their bookshelves and how much they were enjoying it, particularly the title poem, ‘Almost Home’.
Now these days I have a limited short-term memory, and generally have a clearer memory of the distant past. However, this was not jogging any parts of my brain at all. The following week having coffee at their house the collection, in a bold orange cover, was sitting on the table. It looked utterly unfamiliar, and then I picked it up and started reading. Oh, what a different James Nash wrote those fifteen poems. Different from how I now see myself connecting with the world. Different in terms of much of the subject matter. And very different from how I write now.
It had been put together I reckon over twenty years ago and bears all the signs of an early attempt at desktop publishing. I had obviously stapled each copy myself. How many had I loosed on an unsuspecting world?
And then I remembered. The poignancy of my past incarnations caught up with me. Sometimes music can do it, sometimes a scent is the trigger, or a photograph, but here it was through a reconnection with my words and experiences from the closing years of the last century.
This recollection from my past seems a fitting way to begin 2019.