I stumbled across some deep stuff tonight–about memories, and our lack there of. Here is a snippet from the book, “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years,” by Donald Miller. Begin there...
The saddest thing about life is you don’t remember half of it. You don’t even remember half of half of it. Not even a tiny percentage, if you want to know the truth. I have this friend Bob who writes down everything he remembers. If he remembers dropping an ice cream cone on his lap when he was seven, he’ll write it down. The last time I talked to Bob, he had written more than five hundred pages of memories. He’s the only guy I know who remembers his life. He said he captures memories, because he forgets them, it’s as though they didn’t happen; it’s as though he hadn’t lived the parts he doesn’t remember. (…)
There is no way I can remember everything. Life isn’t memorable enough to remember everything. It’s not like there are explosions happening all the time or dogs smoking cigarettes. Life is slower. It’s like we’re all watching a movie, waiting for something to happen, and every couple months the audience points at the screen and says, “Look, that guy’s getting a parking ticket.” It’s strange the things we remember.
Indeed. I have a pretty good recollection of my childhood, I’d say. I’ll sometimes rhyme off memories to friends, although I don’t know if they genuinely care as much as I do about them, but either way I like to share them. Memories provide a window into my soul (or brain?). They show others what I’m made of. What is important to me, or perhaps how I analyze life. It’s not easy to get to know someone’s brain is it? Don’t you think memories provide some insight?
Anyway. I thought it might be fun to scribble down a few that I could recall:
I remember my grade 5 classroom. The seating plan had just been rearranged and I was right next to J.C. He was my crush. He had a blue baseball hat on and he looked really cute. I was so excited to be sitting beside him! I never told him.
I remember walking my neighbors dogs. They paid me 10 dollars a week. I thought that was a lot, back then. I remember walking the dogs and sitting in a subdivision with friends while the dogs lounged. I think I was waiting around for some of the guys who lived near by. I always hoped for some affirmation.
I remember walking to Beckers (the variety store) for candy with my sister and neighbors. We would stare at the selection of candy for what felt like hours, just to make the best selection.
I remember there was a long way to Beckers and a short way. The short way involved breaking through a fence into a complex. It was broken down so many times (not by us), that they made it a permanent walkway. (Who is they? I have no idea.)
I remember corn on the cob.
I remember sitting in front of the campfire at my cottage as a little kid. I remember my uncle lighting the fire, and how he was really buff.
I remember stealing butterfly clips from my friend K.M off of the table we were working at. She told my teacher they were missing and I didn’t fess up. A few minutes later I felt guilty and put them back. She found them and noted how they were warm. I felt bad.
I remember J.L. caught me picking my nose in Science class. Then I denied it.
I remember how N.H. had such cool penmanship, and how I always tried to emulate it. Sometimes I asked her to write out my notes and I would do hers, just so that I would have a copy of her handwriting.
I remember the elementary school library. I remember the book sign out centre where I loved to work. I got to scan barcodes just like those at the library. I loved that.
I remember going to the children’s museum and getting to play in a make-believe McDonalds. I remember the play pop dispenser. It was so neat.
I remember Christmas with my cousins and giving out gifts.
I remember my shampoo bottle which was shaped like Pocahontas. I used it as a bath toy for years.
I remember riding my bike with two wheels for the first time. I was so proud. My mom let the back of my bike go and I just flew. I had never felt anything like it!
I remember being bullied in grade 3 by G.C. and then in grade six by B.C. and N.H. I also remember M.R…and how she stood up to them on my behalf.
I remember writing my name down in a grade 2 notebook, and thinking that it was the best writing I had ever done. I made a mental note that would have to return later to see it again. I later did go looking, but never found it.
I remember a Doctor’s appointment I had when I was really little. I remember leaving and thinking that the next time I would have to go back for a shot would be when I was really really old. I turned 12, recalled that memory, and got my shot.