Memories light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories of the way we were
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another for the way we were
Marvin Hamlisch, Barbara Streisand
The beer was empty adn our tongues were tired
And running out of things to say
She gave a kiss to me as I got out and I watched her drive away
Just for a moment I was back at school
And I felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make my way back home
The snow turned into rain
Our psychic life may be lived at different heights, now nearer to action, now further removed from it, according to our degree of attention to life.... It is memory above all that lends to perception its subjective character.
Henri Bergson, Matter and Memory
Last night I began reading Alfred Kazin's lovely memoir, A Walker in the City. Kazin writes beautifully about the neighborhood in Brooklyn in which he grew up, describing it with words that evoke so well one's senses. His memories are powerfully shared.
Halloween is, for many adults, a day of memory. Perhaps we remember our children, now grown into adulthood, in their costume of choice heading out into the streets to Trick-or-Treat, or heading to some neighborhood carnival - a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, a princess, a color crayon. Maybe we think even further back to our own childhoods - cold October evening in Minnesota when five blocks seemed like you were visiting the border country with some strange neighborhood, and candy, which was otherwise so difficult to come by was freely bestowed on you by strangers.
Memory, at its best, when enjoyed and savored, but not clung to excessively, can make us more perceptive, more sensitive, can help us pay more attention to life and deepen our subjective appreciation of it. Memory can hone our subjective sense of touch, making us more aware of the pain, angst, the beauty, the joy of living.
With Faith and With Feathers,