Memories of Me

A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen.
~Edward de Bono

In digging through old blogs (because yes, I’m up to no good), I found a reference to a day that has haunted me. Shortly before she died, Todd’s grandmother shared her tin box full of letters and cards and memories (yes, that’s where The Tin Box came from that the muse raped). She showed them to us, after gentle nudging from me (I’m rather fond of making the elderly remember things and tell me stories—not just to glean their memories for future generations, but to watch them as they relive them). She read to us from letters, both old and new, as she recounted times past—the barn dance she attended at 17, swimming in the little pond near their farm, etc.

Little things, really. But they were hers. And they made up her.

In conversations with the hippie, I have recalled various things from my own past, told stories, shared memories, and laughed or cried at what has happened to make me me.


I am more than “I Am.” I am also made up of I Was, I Survived, and I Chose Not To Do.

I personally tweaked the I AM and started an I WAS. “I was a ballerina. I was a tomboy. I played violin.” Some of them I am no longer, others have grown into a new version. All of them made me remember. And in remembering, my mind turned back to the tin box on grandmother’s kitchen table.

I’m making a tin box. It’s not a box of course, but it’s got the same purpose. A file that allows me to write memories down. Something the kids can find later and laugh or cry over. A diary in afterthought, I guess. I’m going to try and remember at least one thing from each year of my life. One little memory. Fishing with grandpa in the reeds at the cabin, which in turn reminds me of the flood at the cabin and people using their canoes in yards. It may be a brief sentence or two. It may be a paragraph or more. I suppose it will depend on the memory.

But this tin box will include at least one entry for each year—starting with the huge blue bottle flies in the window by my sister’s crib and ending with… well, I guess we won’t know the end until we’re there. I could use a notebook or journal or program to do this, but I’ve started a word document. Neat thing about MSword’s latest updates is that it includes a notebook layout in the view options. I have a tab for each year, so I can easily jump to the right place when something strikes me. The front page is a numbered list to represent my years on this planet. Next to each, I put little things to remind me where we lived, what grade I was in, what school I went to, etc. There’s a lot of blank pages right now, but they’ll be filled. In whatever order my mind decrees.

Why do I tell you about this? It’s like saying I’m writing in my diary, right? But it’s not. It’s not only an interesting idea, but it’s something that has spurred other thoughts in my mind. Other projects. Other ways to look inside and understand the demons looking back at me. And yes, there will be more things posted for you to try (such as the I Am).

I won’t likely share entries from this, but I can completely see a memory spurning a blog entry. And I invite you all to do the same. Whether it’s a word to jog your own memory whenever you look back at the journal, or a paragraph to tell it to someone who finds it later, join me. Write down your life.

Before the only person writing your life for you is the tombstone engraver.



3 Responses to Memories of Me

  • Qweequeg says:

    Oooooooo… I like this. That would be a great 365 project, except that it would probably be too personal to publish. But still… I like this. Thanks for putting these cool exploration ideas out there, Kelli. :))

  • Rebecca Snow says:

    Thanks for posting this. It made me remember conversations I used to have every birthday with my grandmother. I had asked her on my fourth birthday what it was like when she was four. Every year, for the rest of her life, I’d get stories about what life was like when she was whatever age I had just turned. I only wish I had asked for future dates as well. 4, 28, and 54 please. Thanks again.

  • Kelli says:

    closed and moved

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