Saturday, April 13, 2013


Memories are funny things. Some have a tactile quality: like my memory of a family trip from a few years back. I take out it out like a smooth beach pebble. It's a round, sun-warm memory to rub through my mental fingers -  and it's unexpectedly pink.

{I think because it was such a spontaneous trip. The spontaneity created enough anxiety to make the relief of the fun, carefree days all the sweeter - yet how does that translate in my mind to pink - a color which I hold no affection for whatsoever? Cotton candy, saltwater taffy? My sweetie-pie little girl?}

There is a malleble quality to most memories. They are warped depending what our minds emphasize.  It's intriguing to spend a day with a story-teller friend,  knowing it'll be so fun to hear them tell others about our day. Often when I hear the stories they recount, I'm surprised by the adventurous life I've unwittingly led. (What a talent that kind of memory is! A dangerous one if, say, you publish your exciting, embellished memories as a Memoir and people want it to be factual truth, a la James Frey)

As I get older, the children grow, my mind is getting forgetful and the memories of their hilarious comments fade, I try to write more down. The other day a friend reminded me of a story another friend had told her about an episode with Sam. Shockingly, I'd forgotten about it. But in her retelling my memory awoke and there it was, the car ride, my puzzlement, and the punchline - so fresh, funny and 4 he is.

He was talking about spelling his name and was trying to figure out where the "o" was.
This had been an ongoing conversation that hadn't yet been resolved, since Sam doesn't have an "o" in his name - and I'd told him that, multiple times.

Samuel Frank Buttner. No "o!"

 Finally, after spelling it, re-spelling it, firmly denying the presence of an "o", I asked, "Why do you think you have an "o?'"

"Because you say "Oh, Sam"and "Oh Sam". So where is the "o" in my name?"

It still cracks me up, 3 weeks later. And now I wrote it down so even if I forget it, I can remember it here. And laugh like a 4 hear old laughs in sunshine, splashing down.

I know it's easy to remember the worst things, unkind words, crushing disappointments. But it's equally easy to remember the love you felt, the crashing joy, the belly laughs. And the positive echoes reverberate around your present day and bath it in a rosier glow.

Or ...just forget everything, including the bad stuff and the day you're having is the best ever. That's Murray's strategy, "How's your day?" "Never Better!"

Here's to life, and the best memories of it.