Patricia’s and my thoughts are with the family of Carl, whose life was savored at a celebration of life today. A lively, laughing, loving, and loved husband, father, grandfather. A good friend. An excellent doctor. A voracious reader. He taught himself to weld. He was a pilot. He was captivated by the water, by sailing, by fly-fishing. He loved dessert. There is more grace in my life for the privilege of knowing Carl and his family.
Perhaps it is the privilege of hearing stories of him, some recent and many from long and long ago. Perhaps it is having just begun a period in my life when there is more time for sleep. Perhaps it is the phase of the full moon, now waning. Perhaps it is . . . . oh . . . who knows.
Anyway each day this week, I have remembered the sight, sound, taste, and feel of other times in my life. They have played out within me in living color, the pores of memory opening like a bud. They arrive, almost on a single inhale, as though for a moment the air is laden with a lightness that is an invitation into spacious rooms of memory.
I’ve remembered pulling sugar cane stalks from the back of bullock carts with Machinder when I was a child in Puntamba, India. I have remembered how we loved to sit in the soft dust by the side of the road and suck the sweetness from those stalks.
I’ve remembered a game Machinder and I used to play with sticks . . . I can see it . . . I can remember the sticks . . . I can hear the sound of hitting the smaller “playing stick” into the air . . . but I can’t remember the name of the game.
I have remembered a time in seminary that was long forgotten.
Mostly, though, I have had the words “one misty moisty morning . . .” floating around in my head. Go figure. Until I googled them, I forgot they were a Mother Goose rhyme. In this particular spacious room of my memory I imagined they were from another book that I read to Noah and Jacob several times a week when they were little and we lived at 1425 Woodland Ave. in Duluth, Minnesota. Was there there a book about “the town of Kell?”
Sometimes these rooms of memory are a bit wispy, with more than one image painted into the scene of another one.
What is it about life that sets free images which have been unthought for eons? And what is it that combines separate stories into a unity of one?
Surely we do carry these kinds of stories from our past with us wherever we go. These are not the stories we look back on as defining moments in our lives, you know, the ones that make us into someone else. These are more like part of the marrow of who we are, always and always.
I am not at all sure what is allowing me to visit these long silent stories.
But I am glad for what ever it is that has set them free again.
Back to the nursery rhyme.
One misty moisty morning
when cloudy was the weather
I chanced to meet an old man
clothed all in leather.
He began to compliment
and I began to grin.
How do you do?
And how do you do?
And how do you do again?
What an odd poem. How easy, though, to recite. The words tumble on after one another, like marbles . And, how they do make me smile.
Patricia and I have been imagining our upcoming trip to Ireland. We have heard from many of you the reason Ireland is so green is because . . . well . . . it rains all the time. She read someplace there are two forecasts in Dingle (which is near where we will be for three weeks). “It is raining” . . . or . . . “it is going to rain.”
As a kind of confirmation I found this information on my iPhone today:
We, on recommendation from a couple of you, are now proud owners of ponchos.
We are readying ourselves for misty moisty mornings.
I’m quite sure you’ll see the ponchos a time or two, with us in them, in pictures that haven’t yet been taken.
And, I know, we are entering a time for the building of new, spacious rooms within. How will these new memories be woven with other memories and what will bring them to life again at some long and long time away from now?