My wife Sally and I attended a wedding this weekend and luxuriated for an hour or so at the reception. My friend Pete Reed called the experience Memory Park. He said our recollections are much too complex to be merely Memory Lane.
Memories are like that. Nothing is simple. History is usually complicated. Warm memories exist side-by-side with less pleasant feelings. That is why anger is almost always part of the grief experience—even irritation at the deceased. Nobody, in fact, is perfect.
Memory Park: The ball park where you hit a Grand Slam Home Run is the same playing field where you Struck Out with the Bases Loaded.
Parks can be very complex. Central Park in New York City has a zoo and a 22-acre lake. People are murdered in parks. People are also proposed to in parks and married in parks. Kids play in parks. Senior adults stroll.
Parks can celebrate nature and they can memorialize victims of war.
Parks can be an oasis, a place of rest and silence. They can also be a place of conversation and recreation, of Frisbee-throwing and basketball shooting.
We vote in the park closest to my house, Woodlands Park. Last week when I was there, I saw a man practicing tightrope walking, about two feet off the ground. I had never seen that before, but, it is a park and you are liable to see anything. On one occasion, at Woodlands Park, I was with a group of children when one of them found a used condom and wondered what it was.
Pete is right. Memories are way roomier more spacious than a narrow lane. Then can be complicated.
Memory Park: I like that. Nostalgia. I don’t want to live there, but I enjoy a visit every now and then.