“Recalling Chiroptera” by Aethyriek; May 2021

Memory, which helped shape my identity, every month it fades.

Each month it seems to quicken. My childhood, my teenage years, my twenties are for the most part gone. As is the past month, the past week, sometimes the past day.

Back then (in the time before), it was easier to write about being animal, to pull all the little lived pieces together to describe more coherently to those outside the experience. A life lived gives more stories, more ways to draw a picture of who we are and what we are. In small flickers, often from old writing, I have some memories. But mostly it is white noise.

Among all of this, one consistent part of me is bat-ness, is being a part of chiroptera. It is a wisp straining to grow while struggling to breath, as I smother it with humanity. Even as my memory disintegrates, I have failed to push bat-ness out with it. The part that’s being destroyed are instead pieces of my identity, the things that made bat’s spirit content.

Memory loss is not the whole of me. It is also the things that once breathed joy into my life, the search for hidden spaces, the pull of caverns, the calls of waterways.

Human creates. That is where I saw a dichotomy in myself. But bat too searches and creates. Both these things can exist together.

I want to live these things again, to create new memories even if they’ll disintegrate within a month. Bat-ness is intrinsic. It is the most neglected piece of me, when it is one of the only constants.