Memory Lane or Memory Park?

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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.

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Categories: Family, Travel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Memory Lane or Memory Park?

  1. I love parks, too. And your observations on memory.

    Memory Lane, by the way, is the name of a wing in a seniors’ care home I visited, reserved for seniors with severe dementia. (I’ve always thought it was a bit of a macabre name, like Then Lord’s Waiting Room, the actual name of a nursing home that used to exist in Saskatchewan.)

    One things about memories… We always think memories are things we have rather than things we create. I recall speaking to an acquaintance who said her grown nephews had stopped seeing their grandfather in his care home because they “wanted to keep their memories” of him. I recall being horrified because of how selfish that was, as if their grandfather only existed for their “memories” and not as an actual human being with his own wants and needs… like seeing his grandchildren. But also thinking how sad it was that they weren’t considering that they were creating negative memories of themselves for their grandfather and all those relations close to them.

    Memories… another benefit of great photos like yours! 🙂

  2. Clyde

    Mark Twain said, “When I was younger I could remember anything, whether it happened or not. But as I grew older, it got so I only remembered the latter.”
    Clyde Waters

  3. Barbara

    Memory Park or Memory Lane…I enjoyed seeing and talking to those I haven’t seen in a while…especially looking up there at those girls who I could remember as 5th and 6th graders (not too good of a memory then) who have not turned into such beautiful young ladies

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