Have you ever been reading a book that was so intense that you couldn’t put it down, only to lose it or leave it on the bus when you were only halfway through? It is the most frustrating experience, knowing there is so much left on those pages that you had yet to find out or experience. If the book was really that good, you’d likely go to the library or a bookstore and find another copy.
Who won the battle? What was the secret the main character was hiding that had the potential to upheave the lives of everyone else? Did the lovers overcome their assorted hardships and find their happily ever after?
But what if it is not a book that you misplaced, but a life that ended suddenly? A life that you can’t just go and replace at Chapters?
This is how I’ve felt since the untimely passing of my mother 9 years ago tomorrow (June 22nd).
My memory likes to play tricks on me. Sometimes I can remember events in my life so vividly that it completely overtakes my senses and seems to becomes as real as when it actually happened. Other times I can’t remember what I had for breakfast, or my mother’s middle name.
Memory is funny like that.
There is new evidence to suggest that a memory changes and distorts over time. It seems our brains transform the memory each time we recall it, taking it further and further away from the truth of the actual event.This is because instead of remembering the actual memory, you’re recalling the memory of the last time you remembered it including any mistakes that might have been introduced at that point. Depending on the memory this can be part betrayal, part blessing.
The other day, I updated my status on Facebook in an uncharacteristically personal way. It read:
So a lot of people are asking me to post a copy of my TEDx talk—so here it is. It wasn’t hard to give this speech with passion, because I believe in this down to my core. Oh, and for those of you who don’t know, the organization I speak of in the speech is the one I currently work with and believe in with all my heart.
Please let me know what you think, and I’ll post video when it becomes available. Here it is:
The other day my boyfriend was (oh-so-generously) giving me a much needed massage. I’ve been travelling throughout remote First Nations reserves in Northern Ontario doing creative arts programming for the children up there for the past month, and my body has taken somewhat of a beating. Between the grueling travel schedule (20 flights in 4 weeks!), and the sheer physicality required when working with large groups of children in an energetic and engaging way day in and day out in remote locations, I’m a bit out of whack.
Imagine two figures walking through the snow in a forest of closely-packed pine trees at once familiar to the world of fairy tales. One is an old man in sturdy boots and a tweed suit the colour of sun-lightened oak. The other is a shadow. Each time you try to imagine the shape and size of the shadow, to place it within comfortable dimensions, it shifts. It moves. It rearranges itself to be unknowable. That’s alright. Let it be unknown.