Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Lessons Un-Remembered by Madama Sebastian

A mind can be a messy attic that doesn’t take kindly to cleaning. Yard sale thoughts are jammed in the same memory box with fine antiques. The lyrics of every nonsense song since 1964 are crystal stamps in my mind, but conjure and concentrate as I might, I cannot recall the sound of my grandmother’s voice.

And what is the use of half a memory? Almost hearing her voice, thin and far, coming and going is a tug of war with a cobweb that has become more ragged with each pull. If I am only halfway to remembering, then why not just let me forget?

Apparently the mind is an autocrat who doesn’t like being a storehouse of mostly ignored things. When we try to extract something, the mind often shoves the memory of stink ahead of perfume. It may splatter us with multiple memories, altering the speed at which we remember them. Those remembrances we had hoped would linger, fizzle. Tormenting thoughts we wish would pass quickly, stay unbearably long.

I may not be able to hear my grandmother’s voice, but I am still a child of her child and I know my grandmother was more wise than clever. She didn’t need me to remember her voice. If she did, she would have found a way for me to do it. My grandmother knew the tricks of the monkey mind.

Her version of a life lesson was the imprint of experience. Other than safety precautions, my grandmother generally dispensed with excessive words, especially instructions, and offered her buffet of wisdom disguised as fun.

Much to my mother’s horror and maybe in spite of it, my grandmother often served me tea and toast for breakfast because she knew I liked the taste of the buttered bread after I dunked it. She watch me hour after patient hour, dragging around in her old Roaring 20s high heels. She’d upend an old silk lined suitcase from a back shelf and fill my afternoons with elbow length gloves, gobs of brooches, screw back earrings and hats with veils. In the evenings, she soft brushed my busy, tangled hair and would send me to sleep with the most gentle and marvelous scuffing of her fingertips across the inside of my arm.

What she gave me were not so many words to remember her by. Instead, she offered me, both lovingly and willingly, the ability to know my own senses. That, she knew, is a doing, not a remembering.

42 comments:

eleven said...

thanx 4 de support my dear friend..have a nice day...c u back at my site ;)

anita said...

The strength of the memory you describe is something I'm sure your grandmother would be pleased about. I hope my grandaughter will have memories like that about the time that she and I spend together.

Isha Shiri said...

You wrote a story very very beautiful.

In my culture, We always preserve the teachings and traditions of the elders, the our ancestors who had no great culture but were wise enough to accommodate us with love as children. I remember my grandmother taking care of me in times of distress of war, terrorist attacks in Tel Aviv, where my parents away from home and I felt alone. She with her safety, care and attention talking about peace and love while she was preparing the bread.

As you said: The mind hides things that are out there waiting to be felt, remember, and then teach with the same wisdom when will on our turn to fulfill our destiny.

I thank your text reminding me too!

With peace,
Adelle

Three Kings said...

Thank you for this post...I miss my Grandparents so much....

CountryDreaming said...

Love conquers all ... Time, space, and memory. What a fine tribute you've written here for your grandmother!

Rad said...

memory with grandma always sweets, lucky to whom who in their life had felt the feeling of grandma love. You are one of them.

Kittie Howard said...

Your stories (and blog) warm my heart. I'm happy you found me. I look forward to sitting down (after a bit more housework is done) and relaxing (after dinner) with all you've written.

Sil.. said...

You're a sweetheart, thank you always for your visit on my blog.
"Scrape" the Englishman rs, but I think I can 't communicate, not repair.
An embrace of the size of the universe!

Kathy said...

What a wonderful story. Your grandmother was a very wise woman and left you with the kinds of things that matter the most for sure!

The thought of screw back earrings and hats with veils made me smile....

Thank you!

Jani said...

HI Sunshine and Baba!

Thank you very much for your visit in my blog.Nice to meet you and welcome again anytime:)

Jani from Finland!

Australia said...

Thanks for this beautiful post. Nice to meet you.
I hope have time to visit you more.
Kisses,
Mayte.

Dave Williams said...

Your writing is beautiful and evocative. Keep it going. I'm looking forward to more.

Dave King said...

I am always on the lookout for something a little different an d for something fresh and entertaining. With this post and in your blog I think I have found it. Very enjoyable.

maria said...

The memory is an interesting thing -the things we remember and those we forget. Thanks for shring your memories of your Grandmother -wonderfully written.

Jacqueline Gates said...

Beautifully evocative - and I loved the analogy of the mind/memory being an attic! So true and picturesque.

Thank you for commenting on my YouTube Channel - I'm so glad I followed you here!

Bliss and blessings,
The Goddess known as Jacqui

Euro Travel said...

thanks for following..did the same

Val Wilcox said...

Such beautiful memories you share. It takes me back to the times I spent with both my Grandmas, doing special things that made me feel so loved and happy.

Thanks for those memories,
Val :)

Jade "Purple" Brown said...

beutiful story, i love your writtings!

Celine said...

i just realized how selfish i had been. My mother-in-law and I have a "cold" relationship with each other due to past issues we had. my children knows these issues and they as well developed the same behavior.

your blog served as an eye-opener, a realization that convinced me to forgive and forget and learn to move on.

so much time had been wasted. egotism hindered the grandma-grandchildren bond. an opportunity to have good memories was rejected.

thank you for the inspiration. looking forward to learn more from you.

Sil.. said...

I added a translator on my blog, I do not know if I did right, but I tried.
See what you think after, but try to find another.
Complicated, for those who do not know how I even move at all.
A huge hug!

Bagman and Butler said...

Beautiful story. I think I will come back for more.

Wapatu said...

This post touched me, what a beautiful post. I'm now in the process of transferring my VHS movies to my computer and can't help but stop and watch the movies of my grandmother. Losing her eleven years ago, I still feel like she's with me in so many moments of my life. Hearing her voice and seeing her sweet face in the videos are moments relived.
I look forward to reading more posts. Enjoy!

Ruby said...

this is a nice story..sometimes I take time to go to flee market to collect antique stuffs...they are in our attic right now..wink!

NENSA MOON said...

Dear Sunshine and Baba,

Congratulations , my friend....!
Your blog was excelent and beautiful...you're true worth....
Thanks for being with us...
I have special a gift/award for you on our blog 'THE NOTE.
Hopefully you would enjoy....

warmest regards,
Nensa Moon

Isha Shiri said...

Lovely Sunshine

You read the translation of "Out of the depths? Idan Raichel is a musician who preaches unity cultural inviting other musicians from various ethnic groups and different countries to record and sing with him.

If you want to know more look on
http://ishashiri.blogspot.com/2009/12/idan-raichel-ambassador-of-ong-sach.html
there is a link that presents the work he presents in the world.

His comments give me satisfaction, thank you very much!


Kisses

Kristy said...

Lovely, thanks for sharing and thanks for posting on my blog the other day!

Cloudia said...

Being. doing. Remembering.
Loving this post...


Aloha from Hawaii my Friend!


Comfort Spiral

NURA said...

halo Sunshin Baba
nice post
how are you?
thank for visit me.

Peggy said...

I loved reading your blog today, your memories about your grandmother are so dear.
I have many wonderful memories of my Grandmother too and you brought those memories back to me today!
Thank you so much for visiting my blog today.
I'll be back!

Terresa said...

Grandmothers seem to be the topic of a few blogs of late.

I enjoyed reading this, the voice is captivating in it.

Autumn Belle said...

A sentimental and touching post. I have fond memories of my grandma too.

I will be promoting your blog at my sidebar this week.

pilgrimchick said...

That is an amazing analysis of the human mind, and quite a context in which to place it, too.

Gary Keimig said...

great writing.
Wonderful blog.
Thank you for checking in on me out here in the wilds of Wyoming.

Cloudia said...

Wonderful post!



Aloha from Hawaii my Friends!


Comfort Spiral

the wanderer said...

what a lovely entry. i was lost in your words, in the experience.

Snaggle Tooth said...

Great post! I'm all teary missing my Nanny I haven't seen since 1972. I suppose I'm lucky to remember her soft voice n smile still. Last August I went to my uncle's funeral at her old house, n skipped right down the memory lane of all those times spent there visiting so long ago. It all looks so different, yet familar.
Now I'm a grandmother! I'm confident I'll make a lasting impression as yours did for you, n mine for me, even if they don't remember every little thing. Love never dies!

Decca said...

Your grandmother has a beautiful and talented granddaughter.

Darin said...

lovely rememberance.. :)

Ju Santos - Fotógrafa said...

Interesting and as I do that? I am nothing smart, qd refers to blog.

Ju Santos - Fotógrafa said...

I want to see pictures of the couple, like to have the concept of an idea of the face of who is the other side of the line. Lol.

SESE said...

hi frnd thank u visit,see u again

Looney Tunezez said...

You truly have a gift.
Been following your posts/musings...

all the best!