Today I am thinking about memory.

Mine is a little bit unreliable these days, mostly in the area of remembering your name, or the names of celebrities, stuff like that. I haven’t yet had any catastrophes of forgetfulness, where others were inconvenienced or endangered or anything like that. I guess I worry about that though, because I frequently dream of having misplaced a baby and I am searching frantically. I awaken in high anxiety and am so glad it was just a dream. The source of this is years of fostering and acknowledging that caring for other people’s kids is an awesome responsibility. But you would think that after all these years I could let that go. Wouldn’t you?

I used to feel a little impoverished because I thought I didn’t have the same kind of childhood memories that other people cherish. I thought that everybody else could look back upon their growing-up years in a kind of chronological stream, from the beginning to the present. All I could call up were dim little vignettes, disconnected, floating in and out of my consciousness, certainly not adding up to anything you could call a childhood. Alas, poor me, I thought. (Sometimes I tend toward the dramatic in my thinking.)

In a rare flash of brilliance, I signed up to take a memoir-writing class at my local community college. To commit to this took a certain amount of courage considering that I had so little to write a memoir about.

Well, that’s what I thought, and I was totally mistaken. A truly gifted teacher helped me uncork my past and get those little vignettes down on paper. I now have a collection of stories and poems (yes, my memoirs, in bits), which I will undoubtedly force upon you from time to time. Because a writer does need an occasional reader, after all.

I no longer think that anybody has that organized available stream of memory stashed in some sort of archival holding place. Memories just hover in your head and heart, waiting for their moment.

* * * * *

There is another kind of memory that is frequently a topic of conversation connected to the work that I do. MEMORIES OF PAST LIVES! I’m giving it caps here because that seems to be the kind of importance many people award the subject. However, I am not one of those people, much to the chagrin of some of my clients. I totally believe in the reality of past lives, in past-life regression, and the value of capturing the essence of old lives to aid in understanding this life. But I’m just not very interested in ferreting out those memories, neither yours nor mine. So shoot me!

I have had a lot of difficulty trusting myself in the intuitive healing work that I do. I have had to overcome the fear of doing harm. More than one gifted reader has independently noted that my fear comes from more than one past life, when as a healer I became powerful and misused the power. I came into this life afraid I would repeat this pattern, and I have overcome the fear and know that my work in this life is good. Now, do I rush to regression to find out all the details? No, I don’t see the point.

A year or so ago, in a workshop with a noted psychic, we did an exercise to practice remembering a past life. I remembered a life in Ireland in which I was a teen-aged girl who had the responsibility of caring for a group of young children. Food was very scant, and I worried constantly about feeding the children and myself. Eventually we all starved to death despite how hard I tried to save them.

Yes, there is insight in this memory that likely applies to my present life. I fostered babies in an effort to save them and get it right this time. My fight with weight issues and my difficult relationship with food in this life is based on an old fear of starving to death. Now, one would think that getting the understanding would engineer a change for the better, but it hasn’t happened. I still need to lose weight and feeling hungry still scares me! So what is the point of remembering?

This is just how I feel about remembering past lives. You may feel entirely differently.

Just think about it.

* * * * *

Here is a sweet memory from when my big old boys were my babies. Mothers will know exactly what it is about!

Remembering 2:00 AM

We begin with the indignant infant roar,
From toothless mouth, body clenched,
Small fists and feet in desperate motion,
The primitive signal: I am here, I need you,
Come to me, come to me.

Swiftly I come on bare feet to bend and lift,
And set my cheek by his, to let him hear
His mother’s voice.
Hush, I am with you, hush, hush,
Breathe with me sweetly, just so, just so.

Now baby-swaddled in comfort, he feeds,
And we are one in this gentle hour
Of sublime quiet.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 at 12:11 pm and is filed under Things to Think About. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

One Response to “Memory”

  1. I, Rodius on August 6th, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    Re: Remembering 2:00 AM, I’m using my memories of that quiet, magic hour when I do copywriting blurbs about rocking chairs.