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Reflections: Memories Of…

30/04/2012

“A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness.” Elbert Hubbard

Reflections: Memories Of... the sun

Memory Of Sun by Anna Akhmatova
Memory of sun seeps from the heart.
Grass grows yellower.
Faintly if at all the early snowflakes
Hover, hover. Contd below

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

Reflections: Memories Of... a red door

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

Reflections: Memories Of... Children with varying degrees of Kwashiorkor and a civil war.

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.

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos Sun, Red door, Guava, and Kwashiorkor, via Wikipedia and/or via Flickr

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet

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47 Comments leave one →
  1. 01/05/2012 12:07 am

    Wonderful post and very good timing for me – thank you!

  2. 01/05/2012 1:52 am

    Reblogged this on Milenanik3's Blog and commented:
    Memories of….beautiful touchy article,an amazing journey of an amazing person

  3. Bree permalink
    01/05/2012 2:19 am

    You shared warm and funny pages from your memory and each could be a book. I chased after fruit too and got bitten by a dog!
    B

    • 01/05/2012 10:09 pm

      TY! I was chased by a few dogs too, but fortunately, I never got bitten. ;-)

  4. 01/05/2012 2:40 am

    To write about what I seem to remember well gives me a sense of satisfaction. If I can remember certain incidents there must be a reason for it, right? Of course I have to take into account that my memory can play tricks on me. I might for instance get some dates or incidents wrong. However how I felt at certain moments, if I do remember this, wouldn’t this have been how I truly felt at the time?

    Some diary notes, recording of dates and photos can often establish whether my memory served me right. These things are good memory triggers. But you are right, may be we tend to forget the bad things.

    • 01/05/2012 10:11 pm

      I know you write a lot about your past and I’m glad you added your voice here…it takes time but I’m sure its worth it. :-)

  5. 01/05/2012 4:51 am

    I love memories…they keep me grounded…who I was…what I did…people I met…How wonderful they are…and I love how they make us start so many conversations…Good post as always…~mkg

    • 01/05/2012 10:13 pm

      TY and yes, revisiting our memory bank is very important as it helps build character. ;-)

  6. 01/05/2012 7:10 am

    Great post e. My earliest memory? Taking a nap on a brown silk comforter in the living room of our new house….I must have been about two years old. I can still feel the coolness of that comforter on my skin.

  7. 01/05/2012 7:26 am

    Memory is such a slippery friend, there are times when I have had to
    re-memorize my memories to see the truth and love that was there. A friend of mine from college died a few years ago, and that brought back so many memories that could never be recaptured. I wished I had created more memories through the intervening years instead of thinking he would always be around, but life moves us all in different directions.
    As always a thought provoking and beautiful post!

    • 01/05/2012 10:15 pm

      TY Karen… my sentiments exactly… It is not always accurate as it feeds off our data.

  8. Bree permalink
    01/05/2012 8:40 am

    I was.reading this again and remembered getting sick from stuffing my face with candy at elementary school. I helped myself to more when the teacher wasn’t looking. Never told my parents what caused my violent tummy upset. They rushed me to the hospital thinking it was my appendix.
    B

    • 01/05/2012 10:16 pm

      I had a similar tummy bug… ;-) The threat of needles helped me focus and re frame my idea.

  9. 01/05/2012 9:39 am

    The strangest things can send us hurtling back in time can’t they? My earliest memory is of being told off for touching a gramophone player under a bed in the dark and a black cat was there with me!

  10. 01/05/2012 9:42 am

    i agree some memories are best forgotten and yet they are what reflects in our today…our fears, happiness, all has some memory attached. wonderful post. thanks for sharing.

    • 01/05/2012 10:30 pm

      Memories hold powerful messages and some we can’t afford to forget. ;-)

  11. 01/05/2012 10:00 am

    “A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness.” This is the best quote I’ve read in ages. There is so much peace in forgiveness.
    My earliest memories are of my grandmother reading the Bible to me, and carrying me on her back as she attended Bible classes.

    • 01/05/2012 10:32 pm

      Glad you liked it… it covers a lot of subjects and I’m pleased you found it. Your grandma must be a special lady. ;-)

  12. 01/05/2012 11:09 am

    It is funny you speak of memories, my brother and I were just discussing this. He can only recall memories from the age of 15 on and not very well. I, on the other hand, can recall back to three years old. He says that is impossible I tell him, well then I am the impossible woman. Silence. Then uncontrollabe laughter.I love making memories. Thank you for this post I enjoyed it much :)

  13. 01/05/2012 12:31 pm

    I enjoyed reading about your fond early memories. Red doors . . . always wondered about the significance of it. They always catch the eyes though. ;) Love your guava photo . . . yummy!
    Thanks, thanks, thanks!!! :)

    • 01/05/2012 10:36 pm

      TY! I love guava too and could eat some now. It’s great when we enjoy a cover together. ;-)

  14. 01/05/2012 4:16 pm

    The line “It reveals and conceals…” So true specially the embellish part. we take a memory and turn it into a story or a what if… Memories a wonderful thing in human life.

    • 01/05/2012 10:38 pm

      TY Alex! Our memory can shield us from evil… and I’m grateful for it. :-)

  15. thirdhandart permalink
    01/05/2012 5:51 pm

    Love the quote, “A retentive memory may be a good thing, but the ability to forget is the true token of greatness.” ~Elbert Hubbard
    I just saw Marilu Henner on a TV show the other day. Henner has hyperthymesia and can recall specific information about every day of her life beginning at a young age. People are indeed lucky if they can forget the bad memories, but remember all the good ones.

    • 01/05/2012 10:41 pm

      I’m glad you have found many fresh ideas! Keep up the exercise.

  16. 01/05/2012 8:32 pm

    Hi e…I’ve just nominated you for the Sunshine Award…you can read about it on my latest post, Day 151.

    • 01/05/2012 9:13 pm

      Thank you Angeline! I appreciate it and will stop by to say same on your blog. :-)

  17. 02/05/2012 4:46 am

    Lovely post today. As I get older I forget more of the details, but still have lots of wonderful memories.

  18. 02/05/2012 5:50 am

    Smell also has a profound effect on memory – it’s quite fascinating

  19. 02/05/2012 7:36 am

    So interesting about the red door. It’s a symbol of protection in a lot of cultures. Maybe there’s some connection to safety or the sacred?

    • 02/05/2012 9:06 am

      Really? I didn’t know about the protection aspect… I’ll take it. It used to be a recurring theme in my dreams and subconscious. It is still present but in a subtle way now. TY! :-)

  20. 03/05/2012 7:12 am

    Lovely post Eliz! Music triggers nostalgia in me!

  21. 03/05/2012 8:40 am

    I have a dreadful memory; it’s why I blog.

  22. 03/05/2012 11:11 am

    Great post! Reminds me of this saying of Oscar Wilde: “Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.”

    • 03/05/2012 11:19 am

      Beautiful quote… TY for checking in and leaving a comment! :-)

  23. 03/05/2012 11:51 am

    Developing discernment about what to “let go” of and what to hold dear in memory is an ongoing challenge and work of joy in our lives.

  24. 04/05/2012 6:30 am

    I remember the dress I wore to my father’s funeral. I remember my favourite horse slung in a harness to keep him upright after he fell into a creek and became ill. I remember a puppy’s infected foot.

    I do not remember my first kiss, which is strange as everyone else seems to!

    I remember “them” snatching my husband away.

    I am not sure of what my earliest memory is. Maybe it is of my little sister after my parents adopted her and brought her home – I would have been about 4 at the time.

  25. 05/05/2012 12:08 am

    You make many points that comfort me as my early morning memories can sometimes be sharp and painful – leading to bitter ecrimination of myself and others, long after forgiveness has been granted. I don’t dwell on the painful feelings but it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who does this. I sometimes get elusive feelings of familiarity in places I’ve never been – sometimes a photo or painting can elicit half-remembered longing, I don’t know what for. Thank you, Elizabeth, for this reassuring post _/!\_

    • 05/05/2012 12:32 am

      Ty for your comment and insights… It’s always good to know that we are not alone in our experiences; albeit uncomfortable ones. :-)

  26. 07/05/2012 5:44 pm

    Almost anything can trigger a memory. I go to regular pain psychology and massage therapy sessions as part of healing, and I am learning so much about what triggers memory. Massaging tight muscles can trigger a memory of what happened or an emotion that occurred when those muscles first tightened (called “body memory”). Certain smells, time of year, etc., etc., so many things can trigger all kinds of memories. It’s amazing how the brain works and stores events, and then subsequently recalls them.

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