Posted by: tlnemethy | October 11, 2012


There is an essence of the world in everything we find to be worldly, everything we find to embody or personify, to depict or aspire to be. But frankly, I am still in awe of the various duplicities of nature that I stumble across, whether they be vast landscapes of polars and extremes or the simple joys in finding a similarity where it would not be expected. For example, there is a spice or herb used regularly in Missouri cooking that I taste every few years even though I have yet to return to Missouri. The very taste of whatever it is, wherever I taste it and whichever food it happens to be in will always bring my memories back to my first jaunt to Missouri. It was present in the soups and the bread, a sparse flavoring of it in the steak as well, but I’ve since found it in a very distinctive spaghetti sauce in Michigan and a french fry seasoning in New Hampshire. Something as miniscule, but as potent to my memories can forever direct me without my consent.

My worst fear is that one day I will not be able to access these pointed gateways of my past, that one web link will be broken, taking with it an entire sequence of my memories. How would my life be if I would forever taste that distinctive Missouri taste and not connect it to its origin? It may seem like a fragment without any real worth, but even something quite as small holds a power derived from the origin. Connectivity is why we hoard and accumulate. Connectivity is why we gather so much with us into a single place. We don’t want to be parted with our memories, we don’t want to forget the tiniest shards of our past because they are extremely significant to us, if not to anyone else.

Where are our stories that can be passed along generations? Where are the stories that will outlive ourselves? That turtleneck sweater with the wine stain will never survive the weathering of time, neither will the porcelain figurine, the quilt, the picture on the wall. We only keep them around to prompt us into a past detail that we could share. We rely on them to jog our memories and to stoke our social furnaces. Will any of them, upon our parting, be anything more than an object of our history, an artifact to prove our existences? We don’t want to be forgotten. What pride we have. What pride we have to expect our things to contribute to our worth once we’re gone. Memories intertwine us all, connecting us with our neighbors and our friends, our distant cousins and our pen pals. Snip just a single thread and the web begins to untangle, to disengage ourselves from the things we most dearly want to hold onto. To remember is to perpetuate the web; to strengthen the joints and the crooks until they can hold new bonds and branch out. Because we are all joined just so; to remember is to be remembered. I fear forgetting the insignificant things because as much as they seem unworthy of storing, they form the strongest memories.


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