Memories

by tamarjacobson

Quote of the day – a meditation:

"In one ancient language the word memory derives from a word meaning mindful,

In another, from a word to describe a witness,

In yet another it means, at root, to grieve.

To witness mindfully is to grieve for what has been lost" (and to be present for all that is

Freeman House, Totem Salmon. Shared in group meditation, and a personal postcard to me by Wendy Johnson at Villa Lina, October 2012.

Memories hang heavy at times, rising up from nowhere it seems like long, dark shadows that nip and bite at my soul. At other times they bring back feelings of elation, and I wonder if that is the trick of nostalgia to wipe clean all complexity, doubt and anxiety from the past leaving me with fresh, flagrant joyousness, and a yearning to retrieve all the perfection that once was. Memories are accompanied by regret and mourning, wishing that things could have been different and blame for not having made it so. And then again, they bring understanding and awareness that clear away darkness shining a bright light to clear a way forward. Memories are heavy like a large boulder on my shoulders, a stone in my heart, dragging me unwittingly toward a deep abyss. Memories are light and fluffy like snow flurries and feathers that buoy me upward floating in air. The past lies in old photographs, and freshly taken pictures that become old a minute after the camera clicks. I love to look at them and wonder at how I was feeling, what was happening, and how the pictures portray that brief hanging moment in time gone by. 

What a challenge to "stay present for all that is," with all that memories bring to bear! I thank Wendy again and again for sharing that meditation almost two years ago. For waking from the constant flow of memory dreams I find me sitting still and silent, legs crossed, and sun streaming warmly on my face. I breathe in and out slowly and deeply, and cast my eyes around my room to discover:

  • Oscar stretched out on the carpet in the sun next to me,
  • Plants green and freshly watered, some flowering hopefully even when they shouldn't quite yet,
  • Pictures on the wall or ornaments on a shelf representing dear friends and generous love-filled moments …

… And I feel completely grateful for my life.

A year ago at Mining Nuggets: Dedicated to my therapist