Memories play strange tricks on your mind
I’ve heard that unless you’ve had a traumatic experience you don’t really have memories stretching back earlier than age six.
My first memory is of me looking out the window of our living room in Ödåkra, Sweden. The room is empty, the weather outside is grey. The windows are big panorama, floor to ceiling windows, opening up the entire wall to the outside scenery, a grass field in autumn yellow and at the far end, a wall of young fir-trees.
As this only was my home up until we all left for Afghanistan I could not have been more than three years old.
There is no furniture in the room and that strikes as odd. I have seen pictures of it from gatherings where it was fully furnished. The feeling is melancholy.
Maybe this is trauma. Maybe this is a memory of the break up. The last glance at what was a secure home that now had to be left to never return.
In 1969 my father got a position as an engineer within the United Nations Development Programme in Afghanistan and he took the family with him, moving from Sweden.
I have a lot of memories from the about two years we spent there and I recall it to be a happy time full of exiting adventures and new experiences. Perhaps the traumatic episodes where blanked out, leaving only the good.
In any case it surely shaped me to the person I am today. Not the least because I started in school there, which normally isn’t done until age six in Sweden.
This site is a way for me to deal with my early memories and, in some way, make a record for the future.
For those who do not know, this was the pre-war period, before the country took an ugly turn in to decades of destruction, completely erasing the world I once lived in and in many ways making these memories and stories a tale of a time and place long lost.
A tale I believe is worth telling in context to the depressing news that has been pouring out of the country since.
And more important, to show that the Afghans I remember was a friendly, curious and proud people and not the rifle wielding towel heads western media states them to be.
Do not expect any chronology in the posts. I will write the memories and stories as they come to me and even if I wanted to, I don’t think I can sort them in time.
It would also be fantastic if anyone else had experiences of the same world and could add to the tale. If so, do not hesitate to get in touch.
by nils with 3 comments.
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