“A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness.” Elbert Hubbard
Memory is a funny thing… We could be sitting on the porch sipping a summer drink or even an aperitif, when suddenly, a memory of an event, a singular, seemingly irrelevant conversation would flash by. Then there are those sweeping, gushing, heart-wrenching memories that come like a deluge; flooding our hearts and minds with painful emotions and exaggerated recapitulations of old stories; wounds that would be best to forget. When I think of my earliest memories, the sun and things we do under the sun weigh in quite heavily. I remember playing hide and seek in the blazing sun with childhood friends. The rule was that the tagged person would gaze at the sun and make a wish… Of course, temporary blindness and blue/green/red spots were a common result of all that sun gazing.
“A strange thing is memory, and hope; one looks backward, and the other forward; one is of today, the other of tomorrow. Memory is history recorded in our brain, memory is a painter, it paints pictures of the past and of the day.” Anna Mary Robertson Moses
Against the sky the willow spreads a fan
The silk’s torn off.
Maybe it’s better I did not become
Your wife. Contd below
Another memory that still holds sway in my life is of a particular red door; both one I imagined and dreamt of, and one I saw on a beautiful white colonial home way back in my childhood. For some reason, call it deja vu, whenever I would dream, recall, or pass by a red door of the shine and hue in my mind’s eye, an old and distant memory would surface… It was often wistful; a lingering feeling of love and warmth that in real life made no sense. You see, I don’t recall ever living in a home with a magnificent glossy red door with an ornate brass handle, stained glass cut outs in the upper section and a peephole to boot. More below!
“We do not remember days, we remember moments. The richness of life lies in memories we have forgotten.” Cesare Pavese
Water becoming ice is slowing in
The narrow channels.
Nothing at all will happen here again,
Will ever happen. Contd below
For obvious reasons, food plays a huge role in my recollections; planting, growing, prepping, cooking and eating food probably represents a solid 45% or more of memories I hold close to my heart. They are not all wonderful food stories. Some of my food memories include tales of excess, deprivation, poisoning, trespassing, experimentation, and forced pleasure. Back in my father’s village, my friends and I would sneak into private compounds to steal guava, mangoes and even tomatoes off the vine. Once, a native doctor, a well regarded curmudgeon in the village, sent his nasty doberman to chase us off his property; there we were hoofing it as guavas and mangoes flew everywhere. Once home, we fell in a heap on the sandy front yard laughing hysterically and planning our revenge. Those were the days… and yes, it was in the village that I learned to climb a palm tree.
“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” Lewis B. Smedes
Memory of sun seeps from the heart.
What is it? — Dark?
Perhaps! Winter will have occupied us
In the night…. Finis
The memories I have difficulty recalling are either extremely soppy or extremely sad. I have a hard time remembering the face and name of the little girl who died from kwashiorkor even though I played with her for a while. I have an equally difficult time remembering all the finer details of the Red Cross food line during the war. All the children in the village were gathered and lined up to receive bags of food; relief/care packages from compassionate donors. I remember the powdered milk and canned goods but not much else… I remember my first boyfriend and the good times we had. I remember breaking up and moving on; it was teenybopper love after all. But I don’t recall much about that first date or about what killed him years later. Such is the power of memory. It reveals and conceals, and we take what we can and, if we choose, embellish what we can’t remember… Perhaps then, the ability to forget is not such a bad thing. What memories come back to you?
Stay Inspired! What are your thoughts? What is your earliest memory? What triggers a memory for you? What stories would you share on your recalled memory? Do share! Thank you.
This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Plinky: Describe your earliest memories.
*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on your blogs and commenting… Thank you all for your patience!
Positive Motivation Tip: Memories help us develop a mental library of all the things that matter to us and discard all the things that don’t matter over a lifetime.
- Earliest Childhood Memory (grandfallswoman.wordpress.com)
- Memories of Sunlight (youngmum-katiemul.blogspot.com)
- I would finish this sentence, but I forgot what I was saying (mercurialmind.com)
- My happy childhood memory… (duffythewriter.wordpress.com)
- WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST HUMAN MEMORY? from The Fearless DM (terrible-and-true.tumblr.com)
- The Pit and the Parallelism: Memory Models (drdobbs.com)
- Several Ways To Keep Your Memory Sharp and On Point No Matter Your Age! (blissreturned.wordpress.com)
- The Memory Jar (thecreativejuicer.com)
- A Concern: Starving Children in Africa (socyberty.com)