Sunday, November 8, 2009

Awakening A MEMORY

Memory. That word alone gives life. How can a memory that has sat idle and forgotten be brought back so vividly and powerful? That memory in the corner of your mind's attic, dusty and  stored long ago. I have recently reconnected with an old friend from high school and nursing school. We were bridesmaids in each other's weddings and shared hours of studying, laughter and positive energy. Constraints of time, family, jobs, children and life in general drew us apart, small pieces at a time. We had lost touch as happens so often. But when we reconnected, a flood of memories and happenings came back, visual images, conversations, trips, and emotions all mingled together. It made me wonder
, what jogs a memory to the present?  What makes us relive an experience, recall an emotion, think about a touch, ignite a smile or a laugh, touch a heart and bring a tear? Sometimes for me, it's a photo, a story shared with recall from another person, an aroma, a particular food, a song (the melody and the words), an activity, words written by hand, personal documents, books, cherished personal items, insignificant in material value, but priceless with sentiment. Things like an old letter written by hand, does anyone do that anymore? And, a note, a card, a prayer book , an old toy, a piece of jewelry, a dish, a quirky family habit or phrase that has been adopted from another, a joke, and even physical traits and mannerisms. Here are some of what ignites memories within myself, maybe you have some of the same, but probably yours are very different from mine, and unique to only you. For me, my parent's old passports, travel documents and a simple old wooden crate made of several variations of woods, with what is now a jammed and rusty lock on the front.They came from a devastated wartime, with only a few belongings to a country where they didn't speak the language. A true story of courage, but for another time. From parents, sibling, children, lover, friends, and extended family there are photos, of course. There is also an old music box, a wooden jewelry valet, a prayer book, rings, necklaces, a toy horse with cowboy, a rubber toy elephant, stuffed and worn but loved animals, handmade gifts, a ceramic Jiminy Cricket figure, old childrens books, favorite adult books, personal recorded conversations (both on paper in writing, typed, and on the computer). Cards, lots of cards. Poems. Words of caring and love. Conversations. There are also other people that hold memories that enjoy sharing them with me, so that I don't forget my own, or they expereinced that time  so differently from me and added a new perspective to mine. There are memories that are in no material container. They can be contained only in the abstract.. Memories of the mind, the heart and soul. Memories that touch your heart, embrace your spirit and feed your very essence. They are the fertile soil of your life, the nutrients of what made you grow into who you are today,  what made you strong, what made you compassionate. Make a memory for someone. You never know the endless possibilities of  what you can give life to and bring sentimental pleasure in the years to come..

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