When eating bamboo sprouts, remember the man who planted them.”
– Chinese proverb
Today: some thoughts on remembering.
Thich Nhat Hahn has a poem about a bell: “Listen, listen! This wonderful sound calls me back to my true home.”
A word overheard last week took me back to a dream I thought was lost forever. The scent of old yarn in boxes on our porch tracks my imagination back to my Grandma Lu’s house on the farm. Jesus invited his friends to be re-minded of him every time they ate and drank together.
On a late summer day here in Ioway, let me be aware that seasons turn. As the Jewish story goes, let me be re-Membered to the whole, gathered back into the brilliance of creation where all is good.
I was at a Holocaust remembrance service a few years ago when I heard the man say, “Only that which is remembered can be healed.” Those are words of great hope, even though re-membering can take energy, time and real work.
Memory is our link to identity. Oliver Sacks knows a man who has virtually no short-term memory. He is both lost and utterly present in the Now. For him, there’s nothing but. Old stories can anchor and orient us.
My friends who take reincarnation seriously say we have stories of past lives hundreds or thousands of years ago that we may need to “delete” in order to live clearly now. Old stories can get in our way.
Today as I am re-membering elements of my life, I invite you to gather your past. The You that once didn’t know how to speak words? That was You. And you knew things then. The You that once called parmesan cheese “farmer john cheese” because you didn’t know? That person was brilliant, and it’s You. A younger You had a cozy blankie and never worried about the things you worry about now. That You might be important today. Can you feel that person? Bring him or her to be part of your current you?
As you re-member– literally bringing pieces back together– here’s a song called “Better Git Home” I made 15 years ago. It’s one of my favorites, tracking three different life stories with a groove borrowed from Paul Simon. Enjoy as you gather yourself today.
Tom Bosley? It’s just that when I hear Mr. Bleekman’s voice on Clifford , I always think of him. It’s not, actually. When Sam was little, hearing Mr. Bleekman’s voice-over guy always reminded me of Mr. C. and me watching Happy days with my sister, me in 6th grade with my own Fonz-style switch-comb from the Johnson-Smith catalog.
That sixth-grader knew things. I wonder what I’ve forgotten?