(Glad to have my friend Wayne Bryan guest blog today. Wayne always has something worthwhile to say and says it well. Marion)
One doesn’t really own anything except memories. Although there are functions, which our bodies perform “naturally,” even most of what we say is automatic are really memories – memories that we have stored in our brains and taught our bodies to access under certain conditions and then act upon them.
Even more importantly, our personalities are the result of memories. We learn what we like and dislike, how to behave, what is fulfilling and attractive, storing those things in our memory. When we shuffle all these and play out the hand that daily life requires, the result is personality.
More importantly, even yet, our relationships and our loves are the result of memories. Sure, there are physical attractions and personality attractions that bring us together at the beginning, but that is not yet love. Love, real love, comes when life has been shared and, thus, memories are shared. Lovers are “joined at the heart,” which is just another way of saying, “joined at the memory.”
This, then, is about the building of a memory.
It is hard to overemphasize the need for and ingredients of one particular trip. On the outside it is the result of a gift which the children gave us on my retirement – airline tickets to “go wherever you want to go.”
At the next layer, it was a way of celebrating that retirement’s beginning. We had contemplated that day with both a great deal of yearning and a certain amount of dread, it must be admitted. The eagerness and excitement of a new stage of life was, by far, the predominant emotion but, because my wife was not retiring at the same time and because we were not sure what disjunctures this change might provoke, it was not an unalloyed celebration.
At still a deeper layer, both of us were desperately in need of a holiday with a chance for relaxation and respite.
Finally, at the deepest core of our being, we wanted to share more memories. Wanted? No, needed to share more memories. We understood the wear which life was causing us and knew its repair was to be found in adding to the store of shared memories, happy memories to be fingered as balm spread on the aching places of the heart as needed. We also knew that we wanted these new memories to take place in England which we love, and Wales and Scotland, which we wanted to discover together.
There was the beckoning call of the new British Library, the Literary Festival at Hay-on-Wye, the family castles in the South of Wales, and the long-delayed visit to Scotland. “Come here,” the places and people whispered in our dreams and in our planning. “Come here. We are waiting with memories for you.”
(The photo I have posted is a Memory Trip Sally and I took to Boston with Fuzzy not long before his death.)