Anyone over the age of fifty is familiar with the acceleration of time with each passing year. Already, more than a week of the New Year has disappeared into the past. Sucked into memory, it will remain there for some time. How long is a mystery, also in what form. After several years, or perhaps only weeks or months, I will remember only fragments of the first days of this year. Emotions tend to linger longer than image-perfect recollections of events.
What I hope to remember in years to come are the laughter of my grandchildren, the smiles and conversations of my children. The thrill from the adventure of launching drink-bottle boats, with twig and serviette sails, and watching the breeze propel them across the dam, excited shouts urging them on. The amazement on city-faces when watching a family of ducks skim the water, ripples in their wake. The joy of family being together at the beginning of a new year, an occurrence that will not be so frequent or regular, now the physical distance between us is greater than it was.
Perhaps the Memory Thief will do a good deed, for a change, and steal the mood-dampeners, tossing them into a scrunched up ball in a waste basket in a very dark corner of my mind. You know, the inevitable moments that become awkward for onlookers who care – the railing at young children by a parent dissatisfied with life, the furrowed brow on one who seems rarely to be truly happy, with anything, at any time, unless everything revolves around that person as the sun in a solar system.
Still, if we didn’t have the sad or disturbing moments, would we appreciate so wholely the precious ones? Probably not. So, perhaps the Memory Thief should leave all the memories un-scrunched and laid out on the table of life. Just for future reference and ah-ha moments, when joy overwhelms disgruntlement. It does happen, sometimes. Though, I promise not to focus too much on the sad-bad memories and I certainly don’t wish to be forced to review them, time after time during the coming months, as if issuing from a jammed slide projector. I would much prefer the Memory Thief to snaffle them rather than the good-happy recollections.
If I were granted only one wish for the coming year, it would be for a Joy Angel to sit on the shoulders of each member of my extended family. Maybe that way the Memory Thief would become bored and take a hike. After all, we too often appear to cherish the sad-bad memories, wrap them in black tissue paper to protect them and keep out the light. How much better to expose them for what they are, chances to observe, review, change, or to perhaps inspire others to see the changes they can make.