A thing that never ceases to amaze me is the transmogrification of landscapes by snow.
Walking on a Summer trail with brush over a meter high in furious yellow bloom all round, i find myself thinking.. but did i really ski down this slope, right about here by this dead tree, just a few months back? The photographic evidence suggests that indeed i did..that there was well over a meter of consolidated snow covering this slope in mid-April, corroborating my memory. Nevertheless, my brain, confronted by Summer’s blooming abundance, seems affected by some kind of inverse suspension of disbelief and i have a hard time convincing myself that it actually happened. This weird suspension of belief can make itself felt as a challenge to sequentiality, and even to what we might call sanity. One’s mental soundness, the reliability of memory, the perceived sequence of events that leads to ‘us’ or ‘me’ becomes dubious, challenged by an overwhelming sense of surreal. What memory presents as real events – concrete happenings occurring in the not too distant past – takes on an oneiric quality when confronted by the immediate in-your-face reality of the present. It’s not just a detail or individual element, a discrepancy, within the bigger picture..no, it’s the whole landscape which is discrepant.
A variant of cognitive estrangement? (Cosmic discrepancy, anyone?) You would think that experience of the cyclic, repetitive nature of the seasons would diminish this sense of estrangement or discrepancy, but then not all our Winters are so generous in snow..nor all our Summers so lush.
Thank God for mobile phones.. where would our mental health be without them?(!)