Today’s guest blogger is Loucinda McGary, author of the Wild Sight. She’s going to be talking about the persistence of memory and we’re even offering up a contest with an awesome prize at the end. So make sure you stick around.
The Persistence of Memory
No, this is not a blog about the weird painting by Salvador Dali with the melting clocks draped over a bare, apocalyptic landscape (though I will confess it is a favorite of mine). I just like the title and think it’s appropriate to a subject I’ve thought a lot about lately – genetic memory. By that I mean something in ye olde DNA is sparked somehow, and you experience a feeling of connection, a bond, a strange sense of déjà vu.
Have you ever visited a place and felt an inexplicable sense of belonging? Something that went beyond liking it because you had a good time, or always wanted to go there. Something more akin to a chemical reaction. A healthy case of love at first sight, as it were. To me this is a tangible case of genetic memory.
The first time I ever got this feeling was in my late teens, and it was my very first visit to San Francisco. Chalk it up to youthful enthusiasm, but The City By The Bay remains one of my favorite places in the world, though I must admit that subsequent visits have not stirred me nearly so much as the first. The only other American city I’ve felt so strongly attracted to was New York City. And I have yet to connect like this with any place in Asia. But Europe is that WHOLE NOTHER STORY…
The first time I went to Italy, I had about a dozen people tell me how much I was going to love Florence! In short, I didn’t. However, the minute I walked out of the Termini train station in Rome…Badda Bing, Badda BOOM! That’s amore! And every time I’ve set foot in Rome since (three times and counting), I’ve had the same wonderful feeling! As far as I know, I don’t have one drop of Italian blood in me, and no other place in Italy has affected me as strongly as The Eternal City.
So far, the only other city that has stirred this unconditional love-fest in me is Paris. This is doubly strange because not only am I not even a miniscule bit French, but I was prepared to NOT like the place. Let’s face it, Parisiennes are not known for their friendly hospitality, and that first visit for me was a month after Princess Diana died there. My head was not in a ‘good place’ about The City of Light, but it didn’t matter. Paris instantly stole my heart!
A few months ago, after more than ten years, I made my second visit to Paris. I had wondered right up until the point I stepped off the Chunnel train at Gard du Nord, if I would still feel the same about the place. After negotiating the crowds through the busy station and somehow making it onto the Metro with my luggage, I arrived at my destination at Gard du l’Est. Emerging from the subway into the bright afternoon sun it hit me. OOO LA LA! Paris wrapped her essence around my weary heart and, French or not, I was in love all over again.
Have you ever felt that instant attraction to a city or place? Do you think it might be genetic memory or something else?
Contest time. Today we’re going to give away a copy of Loucinda’s newest novel, the Wild Sight. It’s a great Irish tale filled deadly deeds and forbidden love that will keep anyone glued to the story.
So how to you enter…easy, just answer Loucinda’s question – Have you ever felt that instant attraction to a city or place? Do you think it might be genetic memory or something else?. In order to be entered, you have to answer the question. So don’t be shy.
As always, if you want more chances to win, you can post about today’s contest on your blog, social network, or anywhere you can. Digg it, stumble it, share it with the world. Wherever you share it, make sure you add a link to it along with your answer.
And I’m adding a new way to get an extra entry…join the Literary Escapism blog group over on Facebook.
Unfortunately, this contest is only available to US or Canada addresses only. The contest ends at midnight on Nov. 18th. I’ll determine the winner with help from the Research Randomizer.