Sunday, November 15, 2009
When I was five years old and living a life of crime, an alchemy occurred and I went from sounding brass to gold. C G Jung, the alchemist of the mind, would have fully understood. I have some early memories of this period but my mother filled in the gaps over the many years we comported ourselves together! I sojourned briefly in Davidson, Saskatchewan with my mother and infant brother in 1939 and stole beer bottles , eggs and chickens from a man who accosted my mother about this. I vaguely remember enjoying myself with my friend, and our activities. My mother was on her own at that time and was horrified because the man had suggested reform school as a cure. She told me up until then I had been a good little boy. Now Borstal bound at five! She told me, when I was sent to the attic room by myself, she spanked me everytime she thought about it, repeatedly, over the next day or so. Fear was rampant and she was alone and newly in town. I remember standing in that attic room at sundown by myself. I can still see the sepia like quiet atmosphere of the room and feel the complete sense of abandonment. The spankings were nothing; the sense that my mother would be lost to me was everything. I truly believed her admonition that the man would bind me over. That must have led to the alchemy, an epiphany of childhood. Things only change when they get bad enough! My behavior became exemplary. I can't say I didn't lapse back into brass from time to time in my life, but I never forgot the sense of abandonment that straightened me around. I wonder if they still remember me in Davidson?