Loss of Memories

You’re making memories. Everyday. It’s what you do. Intentionally or not. Whether today is a special occasion or just another day at work.

When we’re young, if all goes as it should, our memories are colored bright by hope and unfettered dreams. As we age our snapshots of days past grow gritty shaded by the dramas of life. Love. Loss. Fear. And still, hope for the future.

But what happens when your memories are lost? Alzheimer’s, amnesia and traumatic accidents can take them.

And in a way, natural disasters can too.

Yesterday, the arrival of Hurricane Isaac on the Gulf Coast, marked the seventh anniversary of Hurricane Karina. A storm which made memories and took them as well. A storm that transformed lives.

I have vivid memories of sitting on the back steps of my grandmother’s meager home where she had raised six children of her own, and then some. I can still smell the pungent aroma wafting from the shrimp factories and hear the sea gulls begging for handouts two block south on the water.

On those steps, with a blushing complexion and squinted eyes I asked my grandmother where babies came from. Her plump cheeks rounded and her wise eyes grew conspiratorial as she leaned in close. On that hard concrete stoop she told me, through the years, about the birds and the bees (literally), the cycle of life and death, and most importantly to a pre-teen, what the term PMS meant.

I cling to those memories so tightly because those steps are gone, along with the modest house that was my second home. I can’t take my children to those steps and show them where I used to sit with my grandmother and have the “big” discussions.

But I can sit on my own steps with them and make new memories.

To all the people of the Gulf Coast, to my family and friends back home, to everyone stay safe while weathering the storms of life. Cling to your memories. And don’t forget to make new ones!

Triumphs and Tribulations

The great balance of life. Where there is good, evil too exists. Where there is light, shadows endure. High and low. Day and night. Open and closed. Success and failure.

Would you love a world in which the sun always gleamed? Where paths were lined with gumdrops and money trees? Where dirty laundry and used dishes didn’t exist? Where you could eat all the cinnamon rolls you ever wanted without gaining an ounce or becoming diabetic?

I’m not too sure about the sun always shinning because I like it nice and dark when I sleep, but the money trees and all you can eat cinnamon rolls sound great to me.

The bigger question is: Would we appreciate the good, the light, the triumphs, if the opposite did not exist?

Two weeks ago, one of my short stories was selected for publication in an anthology. Squeal, I know! Gum drops rain. Another week goes by and a different short story was not selected for publication. Boooo! Darkness falls.

For several days, I wallowed in self pity. They say, “The only one who stands in your way is you.” Last week, it was too true. Self-doubt was a looming monster in my closet. Luckily, I’m in nesting mode. I cleaned that puppy out. I took self-doubt to Good Will, along with bag loads of outfits I no longer wear.

I allowed the darkness to overshadow the light, when I should have given each instance a moments attention before pressing forward with my yet unmet goals. Floundering is over and work has commenced. Yay!

How do you overcome the tribulations? The let downs? The bumps in the road? And would you appreciate success without failure?

Cheers to your successes! Hope in your failures!

Breaking Radio/Blog Silence

Yes, It’s me again.

I know. I know. It’s been a while. Shame on me!

I could paint you a colorful story about why I fell off of the radar. Colorful story: My crimson robe rustled as the breeze blew across the lake at Osho Ashram. I hear the whisper of leaves, but ignore the green goddess trees. My trance so deep, though is a virgin concept to my mind. The slow inhale and free exhale are all that exist. Only when the Dalai Lama smooths a finger on my palm do I surface. Eyes fluttering open the world is anew. My body slack with peace, I bow to His Holiness in marvel at the meditation and life changing journey he has guided me through.

But the truth is I spent July mashing up play-dough, shooting Decepticons, and reading picture books with my three year old. Sure, I could have been productive while he napped those few precious afternoon hours away. Instead, I napped too or, at the very least, rested. Growing a baby (GIRL!!) in your belly and fighting evil-doers with your son is tiring work!!

Blogging has it’s cons (in the non-Transformer sense of the word): Sticking to a schedule. Inventing fresh material. Yeah, that’s all I came up with because I really like to blog. For me, blogging allows another creative outlet, apart from writing novels. Blogging is almost an instant gratification. You write, edit, publish and almost immediately have feedback. Another awesome thing is the communication blogging allows with peers, family, friends and relative strangers. It opens a dialogue that has enriched my life.

So, here I am breaking blog silence in commemoration of Summit going back to school. Oh how I’ve missed writing and communicating (with adults).

What are you feelings on blogs/blogging?

All the best to you and yours!

Megan Mitcham, Author