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Gabrielle Nowicki's earliest memory is copyright © 2002 by Gabrielle Nowicki.

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my earliest memory
gabrielle nowicki's earliest memory

I was sitting in the rectangle of my red wagon looking at the north wall of our small brick, post war house. My mother's head and shoulders brightened the dark square of the kitchen window above the sink while she did the morning's dishes. For the first time, I wondered who I was.

It was a bright, childhood sunny morning with an intense yet somehow translucent cobalt blue sky overhead. I am an artist, and I have always found magic in taking opaque acrylic blue, and especially, white paint, and making a sky with those qualities. The grass in our fenced backyard was vivid green (cadmium green with cerulean blue). It must have been mid spring and I must have been barely three.

This is not my very first memory; I have flashes of remembered things, situations and people earlier than this, but like the power coming on again after a long outage, the memories flash erratic and spontaneously, zinging with blue light, almost stinging. The power comes on just long enough for the hands on the aqua blue kitchen clock to move about two inches, but with no reference to what time it really is. No, this first memory is the start of my life as I know it.

As I said, I was sitting in my red wagon and suddenly the thought occured to me that I could not really remember....way back. I could have told you what I ate for dinner last night and that the bigger kids down the block borrowed my red tricycle again a couple of days ago, but I wondered how long 3 years must be. I knew we moved to Canada 18 months previously, from England, but I had a real sense that I had no concept of time.

Then I wondered where I came from before I was here. I imagined a black, dark space. It frightened me so I turned it into the inside of a box, lined with soft, black velvet.

At that moment, my long term memory seemed to establish itself. I have always considered myself lucky that I could pinpoint that moment in my life.

Canadian artist Gabrielle Nowicki's website is located here. Her website features a large selection of her drawings, fractals and computer art, and is highly recommended.

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