It's our memories that make us,' - this is the first line of Requiem for a Beast a picture book for older children and young adults. Though the book was in that case talking about indigenous people of Australia, in a sense it's the same true for each of us. We are what we remember.
A psychologist once told me that the mind chooses to forget those things that are too painful- that it doesn't want to deal with. But I've also heard someone say that those with a happy childhood don't store up memories. Since they both seem to be saying opposite things, they surely both can't be right.
I'm fascinated by what the brain chooses to remember. So often they are not momentous events but little snippets from seemingly ordinary events. Last night over dinner Mick and I wee talking about memories. Memories from our respective childhoods as and well as memories of shared times together.
In the car while listening to music yesterday I'd also commented how in many Bobby Goldsboro's songs he picks up on those ordinary yet somehow not ordinary minutiae of daily life, where it's in Honey, Watching Scotty Grow, Danny, the sad With Pen in Hand about a couple on the brink of divorce.
Think about your memories. What is your happiest memory? What is your spouse's happiest memory? Do you even know?
Alternatively what is your saddest or most embarrassing memory? What is your spouse's saddest memory? If you don't know, then find out.
I also love the song Memories, especially sung by Elvis, that talks of memories pressed between the pages of my mind that sweeten just like wine. That's one of the advantages of having been married so many years. We have a storehouse of shared memories. We've known each other since we were 17, so we have shared memories from those teenage years up until now.
So why not plan to make today with your spouse one of those times when you make some beautiful memories together. Those beautiful memories can help sustain you in the hard times. It doesn't really matter what you do, so long as you're together.
Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at MetroSexual LA