The problem with getting older, I find, is the number of memories that crowd in. And crowd out other thoughts. Like weeds, blocking out the light and pushing out indigenous plants. Suffocating them. In some ways, youth was easier…without memories to pester me. How do I tell them to leave room for new thoughts, new experiences, new memories? How do I tell them that their pushy ways are not welcome?


5 thoughts on “Memories

  1. I like to think that I spent 58 years collecting memories, and now have a few decades to make sense of it all, by seeing how they integrate…how they meld into a symphony that is worth sharing.

    The weeds are every bit as indigenous as those you planned. In fact, they were the more dramatic…the more brash adventures of your garden. They were the stuff of life, compelling you to see a new pattern…acknowledge an alternative.


    • True, but I have found that the weeds for me are too pervasive. Too many. As though pruning needs to happen. I want new memories to be able to take root and flourish. With each passing year it seems that memories from the past rather than attention to the present are more and more vying for attention. Is this a phase or is it the fact that I have more memories in my bag and will with each year?


  2. I remember a talk once by Thich Nhat Hanh. He said most of us spend the first 20 years of our life filling up a bag of memories and experiences. Then, we may spend the next 20 years (or so) working to let them have less effect on us.
    It’s noble work.
    I’m also blessed with (or burdened by?) a terrific memory. As the years pass, the memories pile up. I’m glad to have them. After all these decades, I’m happy to be still having new experiences, and new memories.
    I’m finding that when they become pushy, I look into them more deeply and accept that they are from when I was younger (and less … experienced? wise? savvy?) and then offer them honor for what they are. That helps me let them go a bit so I can get on with making new memories.


    • Hmmm….Out of my personal experience, I would modify the number of years spent filling up my bag of memories. The bag doesn’t stop getting filled but with each decade there are more that I have to deal with, to work through so they have less of an effect on me. These days, the bag feels full and my mind stuck with certain memories. I’d like to be able to empty the bag so I have room to carry around new (good) memories. Or at least rearrange the memories in the bag.

      How very Buddhist meditation-y of you! Give the memories the attention they want so they will settle down. There seems to be a fine line between giving the memories attention and being swallowed by them. I am not sure where that line is but I seem to cross it quite easily.


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