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  • Writer's picturedavidauten


Memory is a virtuosity, not a mere mental picture passively received from the near or distant past, but a vital and direct way of actually interacting with personal history, an essential portal through which the never fully gone still inhabits, and animates, each of us. Memory carries presence, and as such is a spectral feature of awareness, a tacit realm of ghostly remnants with the power to touch our hearts and move our spirits still. Memories are what we are. They are the constitutive building blocks of identify, lying secretly beneath the surface of who we appear to be, and the yet to be, silently shaping our interpretation of everything. A memory can be a source of tremendous inspiration, recalling the ways in which courage once found us, despite our efforts at evasion, enabling us again to venture onto pathways leading to unforeseen pastures of possibility, or, a remembrance can be entirely crippling, the psyche’s resurrection of a past failure, again and again, stifling our ability to imagine any dynamic way forward through the fog of a lingering fear. In a very real sense memories do something to us, emotionally and otherwise, and we have the ability to do and deal with our memories, not only remembering but re-membering, for all memory is imaginative, selective, and constructive. If we notice the dark clouds of despondency rolling in due to an old aching we cannot seem to forget, we can set an intention, welcoming rather than resisting the fury of the tempest tied to these particular memories, while also knowing no storm lasts forever. There is a meteorology to memory, the swirling coalescence of our remembering and the feelings they precipitate flowing in an atmospheric river eventually leading to a deluge of relief, affording us the opportunity to move beyond any one emotive climate we might imagine ourselves captive to. The human spirit is resilient, beyond belief, and the sunlit meadows of the mind can be found again.


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