Wednesday, November 2, 2011

the place of remembrance

my co-worker complimented me on my boots the other day.

i looked down at them, tucked into my jeans. remnants of storage dust on their heels from a summer spent in the basement. "i got these the day heath ledger died," i replied absentmindedly. all of a sudden, they weren't just shoes anymore. they were reminders. of that evening in college spent by myself at the mall. why i, the student with campus police on my speed dial, was out shopping alone is beyond me. but there i was. knee deep in the shoe department at belk's. the text came when i was trying them on.

i was little when princess diana died. i bumbled down the steps for a drink of water to find mama alone in the dark, crying in front of the television. years later, i sat on that same couch and watched the coverage of the JFK, jr. plane crash. i learned of aaliyah's death in a church corridor one sunday morning. these places and objects are forever changed to me.

i don't remember much. i joke with robert that my memories start around middle school. but these things--these moments that don't even directly involve me, are stamped inside. they are a part of me and i of them.

i am a collection. of memories and days and evenings spent watching the news. of remembering and forgetting until some off the cuff comment triggers something deep inside and i remember all over again. until a co-worker reminds me that my boots are more, so much more, than leather (well, pleather).

but being human means embracing these associations, these little fibers that connect us as a whole and unite us. in suffering, yes. and in sadness. but also, when the heavens align at just the right moment, in inexplicable joy. 

13 comments:

Erin said...

I still can't bring myself to wear the shirt that I was wearing the night that I found out one of my dear friends had passed away (this past May). I am always reminded of that night whenever I see it hanging in my closet. Thanks for sharing love. Death is hard but God makes it easier.

O'Melly said...

I haven't had to deal with a tragic loss personally, but lately I have been hearing of tragic deaths through friends or customers, and it's an eerie feeling.

Thisisme. said...

Beautifully written, evocative post today my friend. I was about to be confirmed on the day that Princess Diana died, so I shall never forget it (I was 50 at the time). I can still remember the complete shock and all the sadness in the days that followed. Life is so very fragile, and we must try to make the most of each day. Hugs.

Rindodo ♥ said...

I love this post, I think you have a passion for writing :D

Erika Lee @ A Tiny Rocket said...

It's little reminders that make memories real.

Holli said...

I remember all of those moments as well and also when the Challenger exploded killing the astronauts. I was in the 6th grade and home from school that day and wanted to watch the Space Shuttle take off. Then it exploded. It was awful.

Blondie's Journal said...

I have a lot of memories by association as well. I remember where I was at, what I was doing and sometimes what I was wearing. Our memories are pretty complicated tools but definitely serve the purpose!

XO,
Jane

Janette said...

I have these associations too... Maybe not as vividly as yours..But I do.. And I think my memories started when I was 4...Where I made a concerted effort to not forget things.. I was a weird child...ahead of my days I think...haha

Janette, the Jongleur

PS. I need boots!

Shalyn said...

I have a horrible memory but surprise myself sometimes at the little things that spark memories I didn't know I had/were important. This is beautiful.

chambanachik said...

I am the same way. I can't remember a lot- even significant things- but memories are often triggered by comment, a sight, and lots of times, by a smell. It's odd, but kind of wonderful.

bethani said...

its odd how the smallest of things can remind us about the largest of things.

Stephanie said...

I love that about you and how you've expressed this. I am an association queen and it's been amazing to me that in doing so I can remember so.many.things.

Cara-Mia said...

I make associations with items a lot - which makes it really hard for me to part with things. How can I get rid of something when it holds so much sentimental value??

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