An opening framed by the remnants of an ending, and now reprised. Arms outstretched, but necessarily encrypted. This is the horizon which masks its own possibilities. Uprooted from an undiscovered past and plunged into the present. Suddenly a whole past, as yet unknown, comes to the fore. Other rooms which come from a great distance, disrupting the doors which embrace us in the present. In the elsewhere, far from that which has ceased to belong. Isn’t this how it is with doors: they hold what memory has forgotten?
As to the doors which frame the memory of different times: since Christmas is the oldest of childhood memories, the most ancestral, it is also the most obscure. Today, from the standpoint of time, it is only possible to speak of a history of diminishment, of the erasure of presences. Alongside its ancestry, the memory of Christmas remains locked within a region of negation. Today, Christmas survives as an event reanimated by the desire and disappointments of others. An event experienced in proxy. Things mark their presence, it is true. But is only inasmuch as discontinuity gives room for the past to articulate a sigh. And now: what is remembered, vague and exact simultaneously, is only defined by what is no longer present.
Memory does not belong in the past. There is no landscape in which the past resides, able to be travelled to on demand. Remembering is not a return, but an opening in which traces stretch into the present. Particular objects, sensuous and symbolic, encounter us, superimposing a history upon the present which is otherwise dormant. Time regained is time disrupted. Simple delight, then, in experiencing ourselves as subjects to the autonomy of our own history. Does the diminished past survive irrespective of its apparent ending? A synthesis is born: the remote reverberations of memory gain a resonance in the present only by rising up through the body, which experiences it as difference.
Today, Christmas repeats itself a side-effect of memory. As the archetypical homely event, it has a simultaneous existence as its destitute other. A reality without fixed appearances, an experience unable to be situated in time, an event marked by its own effacement. Together, its de-animated (dis)appearance forces the deepest residues of body memory to seek a lived counterpart. But in its autonomy, the body remembers what the mind cannot bring forth. As doors contain points of departure, so Christmas leaves a trail of shadows in its arrival. Leaking into time, it deposits a residue of unburied time in the present, until finally it comes to resemble an involuntary memory frozen before time.