One way or another, we are always remembering, of course. There is no escaping it even if we want to, or at least no escaping it for long, though God knows there are times when we try to, don’t want to remember. In one sense the past is dead and gone, never to be repeated, over and done with, but in another sense, it is of course not done with all or at least not done with us. Every person we have ever known, every place we have ever seen, everything that has ever happened to us–it all lives and breathes deep in us somewhere whether we like it or not, and sometimes it doesn’t take much to bring it back to the surface in bits and pieces. A scrap of some song that was popular years ago. A book we read as a child. A stretch of road we used to travel. An old photograph, an old letter. There is no telling what trivial thing may do it, and then suddenly there it all is–something that happened to us once–and it is there not just as a picture on the wall to stand back from and gaze at, but as a reality we are so much a part of still and that is still so much a part of us that we feel with something close to its original intensity and freshness what it felt like, say, to fall in love at the age of sixteen, or to smell the smells and hear the sounds of a house that has long since disappeared, or to laugh till the tears ran down our cheeks with somebody who died more years ago than we can easily count or for whom, in every way that matters, we might as well have died years ago ourselves. Old failures, old hurts. Times too beautiful to tell or too terrible. Memories come at us helter-skelter and unbidden, sometimes so thick and fast that they are more than we can handle in their poignance, sometimes so sparsely that we all but cry out to remember more.
A Room Called Remember
books, Daily Living, Inspirational, non-fiction, Reading and tagged Frederick Buechner, Secrets in the Dark A Life in Sermons. Bookmark the permalink.