Beware tricks of memory that trip up memoir.

I was sure Madonna was at the 1994 Brit Awards. I watched all the acts from the best seat in the house, with nothing but a trench crammed with young writhing bodies between me and the stage, and Madonna’s was the most memorable. When she started to sing and the wind blew from beneath her lifting her long blonde hair into a ghostly halo that was illuminated from behind, she became a swirling ethereal being that was beyond human. She transported me, her halo of hair blowing like a snow plume from a summit, her gyrating hips swaying to the beat of the wind on a tent, and her deep, beckoning cleavage, as remote and mysterious as a high mountain couloir.
I Googled Brit Awards 1994 to prompt my memory for the other performers, but Madonna wasn’t there. I dug further and discovered that her mesmerising Brits performance was the following year. I must have watched it on television, and over the years my memory has transposed it to the event I saw live. Her performance still transported me, which is perhaps why I subconsciously transported her performance to a more meaningful occasion; and now, even though I know I didn’t see Madonna live, my memory continues to insist that I did.
How else might my fickle and unreliable memory be tricking me? Did I really climb all those mountains, or did I merely see them on television? I’d better get Googling…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s