Making memories for one another soon became second nature. Every time a hummingbird came to the feeder outside your bedroom window, you’d watch it intently so that later I could marvel at its throbbing little body and blur of wing beats, be enchanted by the beady eyes glistening with sunlight and those metallic-green feathers like finely tasseled scales running down its back. In search of scenery you’d like, I spent an afternoon wandering the island where a gallery was showing Mom’s latest work. With every exchange of memories, we gave each other a new way to be elsewhere and elsewhen—a moment for the mind to slip into whenever the fancy struck. Until we found out that our memories could get mixed up.
Wild confidence is reputed to have a certain ineffable something, but that’s all anecdotal—and quite possibly a placebo effect. What I am sure about is that historically, “naturally” sourcing confidence definitely hasn’t made things better for the wildlife involved. For decades, countless animals were rendered ambivalent and indecisive, unable to maintain their long-standing livelihoods—many a mighty species reduced to relying on the steady supply of food promised to them in exchange for their confidence.