I’m slowly learning how to rewrite. I often go back to sentences and things I’ve said before. I’ve been revisiting places—sometimes by choice, sometimes by chance. When we’re writing on paper, we often scribble over something we’ve written poorly; poor not in artistic quality, but the scribble itself is light, faint, and illegible. It has been like that in many ways—this rewriting of memories. There are many written poorly. Lately, I’ve scribbled over things I don’t remember clearly. I’ve added a colourful lie in some places, like how a child draws a crayon animal outline over some critical papers. It is a terrible chore to fix the documents at the moment: an example of the innocent destruction children bring about. Eventually, it becomes a cherished story, a family folk tale, an anecdote for the ages as years go by. With the same audacity, confidence, and innocence, I am colouring the grey days I don’t remember too clearly. All I care about now is filling the colour back in, and if I find no space to do so, to colour outside the lines.
This vibrant spill of colour has trickled into my present. This rewriting has saved me from myself. It has also saved these words. There is colour now, so much of it, I do not know what to do with it. Like how we fix the dull corners when we have a bucket of leftover paint, I am fixing some corners here and there. I do not have much to say about it. The colour does the talking for me on most days. I do not have to tell someone, “look, things are vivid and rich now.” They can often see it for themselves. This burst, this explosion of colour, has not been loud. It has been slow, deliberate and meticulous. At least, it started that way. It is always in how things start. Once begun, most things take a life of their own, but if we remember how things started, we can go further than we believed we could. This was true for some superhuman pursuit, some struggle of the righteous, all tales of lasting love, and relatively irrelevant, deeply personal undertakings like my own.
It was always in how things began, and it was in how we remembered them, and if we remembered them poorly, it was in how much colour we could add after the fact.