When you drive on Atlantic Blvd. off 10 West towards South Pasadena, you have quite a few minutes to enjoy a beautiful mountain view, and several traffic lights to stop at, before you turn on Garfield, and dive into the serenity of residential streets lined with palm trees, redwood, sequoia, ash, walnut, and sycamore.
On my way home today on Atlantic, and for no particular reason, I was trying to roll back my memory, and recall the most emotional moment I ever had in my life. It became even more interesting for me to find out what was the very first feeling I could remember. I was thinking about how young we actually are when something strikes our senses, leaving a vivid memory that stays with us for the rest of our life. What is that first emotion we experience: joy? happiness? sadness? fear? ... and does this feeling set up a ground for our further sensual life… does it actually define, in any way, who we emotionally are?
I remember a place that I used to live with my parents when I was three years old. It was in the most eastern part of Siberia, in a small port town of Anadyr. I remember my mother was singing a song to me, hoping I would fall asleep, but fell asleep first, and I got out of my bed, and went to the kitchen. I was standing in front of a kitchen window looking through the frozen glass, when I suddenly saw a helicopter landing in the backyard of our house. It was not a regular house, of course, and it was not a regular backyard. It was a house in the middle of nowhere in the snowy fields of Siberia, where there were no roads, or major intersections, and helicopter was probably the only means of transportation back in that time.
I have a clear idea about the place and how I looked like because of the family photographs that keep memories, and the episode with helicopter was returning back in my mind on several other occasions. But it’s only now that I realized: the feeling of SURPRISE that I managed to retrieve from my memory roll back on my way home to South Pasadena was probably the first real emotion that I ever experienced in my life…
What was yours?