June 1, 2012: Institutional Memory
Recently, I have been enjoying journals my parents have started keeping recounting their lives together. My mother's are always quite entertaining. A public historian by education, she knows the value of recorded memory. So, even though these journals don't have the imprint of her handwriting, just the protection of a thumb drive, they still remind me of what's important about preservation. Perhaps, most moving is learning just how affected my parents were by the events of my life. Hence, my homage to
What could I have been thinking
To never give much thought
To her particular perspective
As it reflected on my experience.
Present times mean support
From parent to struggling child,
Regardless of his age
And maybe more so as they grow old.
History is what the journals preserve,
A bit of what I wasn't told,
In the darkness of their fears
Shared only with each other.
Now I realize that I'd forgotten,
And what I'd never known,
The way the pain can spread out
Hidden all the time.
I don't bear the same fortitude
To record such memories for my son,
Although each hastily scrawled poem
Could reveal the truth to him.
Each entry of a journal,
Each line of verse
Is incremental memory.
Each day of reflection,
Each clumsily cast stanza
Is situational memory.
All in a march toward
May we all pray that it is never lost.