Reverberating with the past
A couple of days ago, I came to Pennsylvania to visit my parents and meet the newest addition to our family, a four-month old puppy named Bruno.
After a 2.5-hour trip out of New York, I arrived among the blossoming trees and cold spring of the Poconos. Getting out of the car into the quiet woods, so different from the bustle of the city, I breathed in the crisp air. It felt, as it always does, like breathing for the first time.
I wasn’t sure what I was expecting on coming here. I do know that when I saw Bruno, my world froze as I saw his Irish Setter chocolate eyes, wiry frame, and red-orange fur. I knelt down to pet him, he jumped on me in excitement and my mind and body were instantly transported to the past.
I’d grown up with an Irish Setter too, one that passed away 10 years ago. Seeing Bruno reminded me of physical memories I didn’t even know I had, recalling sensations from when I was nine years old playing with my first puppy.
Things are different now. Yet I’ve been thinking about the different portals we have to our memories, how the present is always intersecting, coexisting, recreating with the past.
At the Brooklyn Museum, I once attended an Andean textile exhibit, seeing mantles woven 2,000 years ago. Following mesmerizing masterful figures and geometric patterns in the cloth, I recall how the pieces felt so familiar and foreign at the same time.
Inherently, we’re not so different from cultures of a thousand years ago. Yet everything is always in a process of change, akin to proceeding in spirals — what has happened reverberates in the present, transformed, circling back on itself, repeating and digressing — recalling, reinventing, ad infinitum.