We are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them.
Is memory produced by us, or is it us? Our identity is very likely whatever our memory decides to retain. But let’s not presume that memory is a storage room. It’s not a tool for being able to think, it’s thinking, before thinking… It’s impossible to separate it from what it remembers… Memory is intelligent. It’s a knowledge seated neither in the senses, nor in the spirit, but in collective memory. It is communal, though deeply personal. Involved with the self, though autonomous. At war with death.
Memory invites us to maintain our grip on the past, but it also calls us to pay attention to who we are in the present. Memory’s question is not just “Do you remember?” but “How do you want to be remembered?”
~Rev. Scott Tayler
I do not know if the seasons remember their history or… if the oak tree remembers its planting. I do not know if the squirrel remembers last fall’s gathering or… if the night remembers the moon… Perhaps that is the reason for our births — to be the memory for creation. Perhaps salvation is something very different than anyone ever expected. Perhaps this will be the only question we will have to answer: “What can you tell me about September?”
~Burton D Carley
It’s not forgetting that heals. It’s remembering.
You will lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly – that still hurts when the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.
I am sitting here wanting memories to teach me
to see the beauty in the world through my own eyes.
Since you’ve gone and left me, there’s been so little beauty,
but I know I saw it clearly through your eyes…
~Ysaye M. Barnwell
Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.
~Aubrey De Graf
Someone once told me the definition of hell; on your last day on earth, the person you could have become will meet the person you became.
(Curated and adapted for KUF from the 2021 Soul Matters materials for the theme ‘Holding History’ by Rev. Beckett Coppola.)