We all carry memories of a life gone by, some of these are happy memories, some of them not so happy. Regardless of their positive sway, memories are the foundation of who we are; they dictate how we behave in given situations, and when presented, show the outside world a little piece of yourself. Memories these days are displayed in a number of ways, the spoken word through tall tales and exciting reenactments, physical objects such as printed photos or trophies or even items of clothing, and the digital which in todays 21st century world is rapidly becoming our memory storage of choice.
Anyone who has known me for longer than 10 minutes knows that I am not afraid of a good story, and sometimes I won’t let the truth get in the way of a good one either. The spoken word has been the mainstay of sharing memories for millennia. The Jews still have the spoken word as part of their law and religion, we share experiences with our children by story, we learn from the mistakes of others by hearing their tales of woe. Sometimes while we discuss and share these stories, unexpected emotions may rise to the surface. Sharing a recipe may trigger a memory of a time it was cooked in the kitchen with someone who is no longer with us, or sharing an event may lead to the thought of missed opportunities. However these memories flow out of us it is important to not loose ability to share a spoken memory. We are too quick to instagram a meal or tweet a thought, but never really engage with those around us.
For those who have been to my house you can not miss the photos on the wall, the memories we have decided to share, and the memories we have decided to remind ourselves of. Like most married people, there is a number of photos from the wedding. Not just because it was our special day, but because there is most of our close family all together, and for some of them they won’t be in any more family photos. Memories up on the wall, as the name of this blog has been leading towards, are curious memories. They aren’t just a display of a particular event, achievement, or person, but they are also a reminder of that time. For Christmas my wife made me a memory box with some small things from my Navy days. I served for 5 years in the Navy, and I have been out for nearly as long. In all that time I don’t have a single photo or piece of memorabilia on display. This memory box reminded me of the pride I had while I was serving, the joy I had in my role, and the people I met along the way. It now sits very proudly above my desk, with my certificates from University and Awards I have won since discharging from the Navy. My wife also encourage me to hang my ships’ hats in our cupboard, since they have been shoved in a bag for nearly 5 years, as a way of reminding myself of the fond memories I have of the Navy.
Lastly the most common way of sharing and logging memories, no matter how trivial or how much of an over share, the Digital. Now the digital does cover all of the biggies, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and so on, but also includes platforms such as these Personal Blogs. The digital age has opened up a whole new avenue of storing and sharing memories with people. You can share almost anything with almost anyone and do it all from the comfort of your own home. For example this post is being written in the comfort of my study desk and chair, while in my Darth Vader pyjamas, while eating homemade Tiramisu. Got to love the digital age. It does also have its drawbacks, while all of your memories, actions, and daily routine are being posted online we seem to trivialise events. We have a first birthday of a child, take some Instagrammable pictures and dumb down the event to 120 characters with a couple of hashtags. We seem to forget when events actually happen and rely on Facebook or Twitter to show us, “OH, I posted the picture of you stuffing your face with cake on 12th of January, that must have been it”. The bright side is we are able to share memories with people in the far flung reaches of our planet. For example My wife and I have a Facebook Messenger Group with all of our friends and family who wish to see photos and videos of our two girls, who we seldom allow images of online. This allows us to share with my Mother in Law in Perth, my Uncle in Sydney, Friends in Canberra, and even Friends overseas. Sharing memories has become easier, let’s just not water it down too much.
Memories are important to all of us. We rely on them guide us, teach us, make us feel all warm and fuzzy, and to keep those who mean the most to us close. I am glad my wife has encouraged me to display my memories instead of keeping them locked away, or buried in the back of cupboard. What memories do you display proudly? Is there a story that you like to share with people when you meet? Comment below and share you memory today.
Maintain the Rage