Questions on Memory
by Fiona Heath
How has your memory changed as you’ve grown older? Do you think of childhood memories more or less? Is it stories or images you now remember more? Which memories grow stronger? Which ones have less power over you, or are easier to carry?
Do you have a happy memory that soothes you? For some of us, all it takes is seeing that swing from our childhood in our mind’s eye. Or a beloved dog running with abandon. Or that image of staring at the purple sunrise on the river while fishing with our grandfather. When life starts feeling harsh or threatening, what memory do you turn to to remember the good in life?
What memories have been entrusted to you? Families pass down stories. Old friends look to one another to remember each other’s childhoods. Spouses safely house their vulnerable stories and secrets with each other. We are all protectors and sustainers of memories that keep pieces and parts of others alive. What precious memory have you been asked to keep alive?
What memory will die with you if you don’t pass it on? Is this the month you finally make a concrete plan to make sure it lives on the memory of another? Or does it feel right that the memory ends with you?
What is your favorite shared memory? Memory is the glue that binds our friendships, marriages and partnerships. Is it time to take your friend or partner out for lunch to reminisce and toast the way that memory’s magic has held you together?
Is it time to admit that your memory may not be the complete picture of what happened? Think of a memory you have that others – or even yourself – wonder really happened the way you remember. What if the question isn’t, “Did it really happen that way?” but “Why do you want to remember that it happened that way?”
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