. . . Somehow I had assumed that the past stood still, in perfected effigies of itself, and that what we had once possessed remained our possession forever, and that at least the past, our past, our childhood, waited, always available, at the touch of a nerve, did not deteriorate like the untended house of an aging mother, but stood in pristine perfection, as in our remembrance. I see that this isn't so, that memory decays like the rest, is unstable in its essence, flits, occludes, is variable, sidesteps, bleeds away, eludes all recovery; worse, is not what it seemed once, alters unfairly, is not the intact garden we remember but, instead, speeds away from us backward terrifically until when we pause to touch that sun-remembered wall the stones are friable, crack and sift down, and we could cry at the fierceness of that velocity if our astonished eyes had time.
- Eric Ormsby