Time and longing for “the good old days,” as well as a need for closure on darker aspects of our pasts, bring the meaning and necessity of memory into clearer focus
I connected with this on so many levels. It makes me want to dive back into the garage and locate the storage container where I know my paper journals reside. I’ve delved back into my online journals several times in the recent past and encountered memories both joyful and painful. Often I find that I recall only the positive emotions of particular situations and later discover there was another layer underneath, a layer that still lurks in those journals.
I, too, have felt the need to record both the actual happenings and the emotional impressions of my life at various times. It started with a child’s diary of multicolor pages, where I wrote one- or two-page entries to record the highlights of the day. Entries got longer as I grew older and had more to record and reflect on. I wrote my way through confusion and worries, elation and disappointment, friendships and relationships. And there are some things I didn’t record the details of but wish I had because they are now, as you pointed out, misty and indistinct.
I continue to explore the importance of recording our memories. And I look forward to your exploration of the topic, as well. There is something about the very act of recording those memories that dovetails with our thinking and our feeling. And it creates a record of individual experience in the world at varying times in history that would not exist otherwise.
I wonder if that’s part of the purpose that those of us who are called to write serve in this world?