May 08, 2012

mental embroidery

I was reading comments on a friend's Facebook photo (circa the 1970's) of what they remembered about when the photo was taken. It was a room of teenagers living life out loud. 40 or so comments later, they were still giggling about who was there and whose hands were steady enough to take a photo that wasn't blurry. Forty years later, they cherished the comradery and memories.

Then one participant said it. Mental embroidery. It was the term she used to describe remembering something differently from the others and this gentle forgiveness we give ourselves when we can't remember something. I loved it. What a perfect phrase.

That's what our lives are. A sweet and sour collection of things we remember. As one of my friends said to me last night, some events stand out in our minds like they were neon yellow highlighted. Like the slow motion of my near-death accident. Weird things. Like the price of gas at our local gas station when I was a child. My starting salary with IBM when I graduated from college. The first poem I ever wrote. My phone number when I was 7.

Then there are things people remember about us. As I've reconnected with former classmates, I've found what they remember most about me is my laugh.

Then there's stuff I don't remember that my friends tease me about like apparently I had a parakeet in the 1980's. I had to dig thru old photos and sure enough, my ex-husband had a parakeet. I ended up leaving both of them. 

Our memories are the fabric of our lives. It's this beautiful embroidered tapestry that is ours to hug, hold and keep. The colors and textures embroidered into our life and soul are what made us laugh, cry, learn lessons, get frustrated or feel exhilarated. Woven into each thread are the moments, places, events and people we love and used to love.

That mental embroidery... cherish it. It is the tender, fragile, strikingly beautiful and unique fabric of your life.


Anonymous said...

Memories ... "The stuff dreams are made of"

Judy said...

So true!