Art is My Religion

April 26, 2010

What Else is Memory?

Filed under: blogging,poetry,writing — Michele Spector @ 2:16 pm
Tags: , , , ,

By Michele Spector

What else is memory?

A bittersweet place in the mind,

That has or should have been,

A place in the heart to find,

Where a love once lived.

A single moment faded,

Now bids fond adieu,

A brisk instant now assumes,

A once revered perfume,

Lured by sweeter fragrance.

Save what image in hand,

Strives to keep anew,

A wisp of sand through fingers,

Endeavors to erase,

Bold sound or smell resurrect.

Sorry for my absence of late, I’ve been slightly burnt out by recent events.

Memories are so ephemeral. When they come back in waves, they may feel captivating, but I wonder if they’re really as I recalled the moment I lived them. Maybe my feelings have checkered them slightly and they become as I would have liked them to be. They are like tiny threads some time, and I remember only pieces of the whole sketch.

How do you remember the past? Does something trigger it, a smell, music, a photograph, or perhaps the smell of dinner prepared? Is it a joyous memory, childhood, or a past love that resurfaces? Does it play out in your emotions, or is it visual as if you are watching a movie? Does it feel as strong as the day you lived it?

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38 Comments »

  1. Great poem. The paragraph where you say, “Memories are so ephemeral. When they come back in waves, they may feel captivating, but I wonder if they’re really as I recalled the moment I lived them” — I think many times they are nostalgia-influenced and connected by feeling. I have memories that are very strong, vivid as the day they originally occurred. However, I think much of it is influenced by feelings in the moment. Thanks.

    Comment by dustus — April 27, 2010 @ 10:28 am | Reply

    • Adam,

      Thank you for your comments! I wonder if we remember because there were strong emotions connected with them period. I think of elephants, who have such a strong memory, and feel sadness at the passing of a relative–and they have many relatives. I’m glad you liked it. Thanks for visiting!

      Comment by Michele Spector — April 27, 2010 @ 1:19 pm | Reply

  2. Lovely poem. My memories are always so vague and I have a wild imagination and I’m always thinking of worlds that don’t exist (I write stories) and most of the time my imagination blends together with my memories and I can’t discern my memories from my stories.

    Comment by pancakebliss — April 27, 2010 @ 8:16 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for visiting! I am writing a sci/fi novel at the moment, so I know exactly what you mean. lol When I would read the stuff I wrote to my writing group I would laugh because I couldn’t believe I actually wrote this stuff! And can you believe that this make-believe helps keep me grounded?

      Comment by Michele Spector — April 27, 2010 @ 8:55 pm | Reply

  3. A bittersweet place in the mind,

    That has or should have been,
    -love that line! I find it amazing how a scent can evoke such strong memories.

    Comment by suzicate — April 28, 2010 @ 5:53 pm | Reply

    • I think our memories are stored in our brains from our senses. Example: Maybe you walk by a pastry, and the aroma caused you to remember baking cookies with a parent when you were little. It’s amazing how it works. Thanks for visiting and for your comments!

      Comment by Michele Spector — April 28, 2010 @ 6:04 pm | Reply

  4. awesome interpretations about memories…
    thank you for the beautiful writing!

    Comment by Ji — April 28, 2010 @ 6:17 pm | Reply

  5. Great poem, i can SO relate… memories… i would say music is my biggest trigger!

    Comment by lynnlivelaughlove — April 28, 2010 @ 8:39 pm | Reply

    • Glad you liked it! Yes, music. I hear music from my H.S. years and it always transports me back. I feel the same feelings again. Thanks for your comments.

      Comment by Michele Spector — April 28, 2010 @ 9:07 pm | Reply

  6. nice. there are many totems around the house that lead to memory…some tangible, some smells, sometimes a song on the radio…i try to taste them then put them back for days i just might need them..

    Comment by brian — April 28, 2010 @ 10:57 pm | Reply

    • Brian,

      That’s an interesting thought, “put them back for days I might need them.” We certainly have those days. I guess they are a comfort to us. Thanks so much for your comments!

      Comment by Michele Spector — April 29, 2010 @ 2:08 am | Reply

  7. lovely poem there…
    captivating and insightful

    I’m here from Jingle’s rally
    you can check my poem at
    http://megzone.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/thursday-poets-rally-hes-everything-that-i-need/

    Comment by megzone — April 29, 2010 @ 5:58 pm | Reply

  8. Oh, memories they can be so tough to deal with. I have spent this last month (National Poetry Month) to try to work through some of the memories I cannot let go of through poetry and it has been a really interesting experience. Most of my memories are negative and I, too, only get bits and pieces. It can be on a car ride, or a walk at the park, maybe the sound of a bird that can trigger a snippet of memory. It is very perplexing how the mind works!

    Comment by Sarah Joyce Bryant — April 29, 2010 @ 9:31 pm | Reply

    • Thank you so much for visiting my blog and for your comments. Yes, memories are a curious thing. My last poem….Grandpa’s House….is from such a memory fragment. I saw shingles on the roof of a house in a movie which brought me to tears missing my grandfather. Amazing right?

      Comment by Michele Spector — April 29, 2010 @ 10:56 pm | Reply

  9. Nicely descriptive poem. What is the onlooker but a construct of memory projecting other memories stimulated by sensual data?

    Comment by Jan Freeman — April 30, 2010 @ 10:35 am | Reply

    • Actually your explanation is a very apt description! Seeing is another topic and something my art professors use to always bring up. Hmm…and maybe another idea for a poem. Thanks for visiting and your comments.

      Comment by Michele Spector — April 30, 2010 @ 2:22 pm | Reply

      • The idea is rather daunting until one sees the beautiful simplicity behind it.

        Comment by Jan Freeman — May 1, 2010 @ 7:10 am

      • I love your poems! Nature is so compelling. Even as an artist, I feel sometimes, why even bother to try to express it. I could just bask in the magnificence of it and be forever supremely happy! Thanks for stopping by.

        Comment by Michele Spector — May 3, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

  10. Love the title of you poem. What else is memory? A question to ponder.

    I’m here from Jingle’s rally, check me out if you have time.

    Comment by warriorpoetess — April 30, 2010 @ 11:07 am | Reply

  11. http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/05/02/poetry-awards-for-week-16-thursday-poets-rally/

    2 poetry awards,
    2 friendship award…
    Happy Sunday!
    Happy May!

    Comment by Ji — May 2, 2010 @ 8:16 am | Reply

  12. this one is a winner.
    There something so dignified about this poem

    Comment by Artswebshow — May 4, 2010 @ 3:36 pm | Reply

  13. this is so very fabulous. beautifully written.

    Comment by trisha — May 4, 2010 @ 3:54 pm | Reply

  14. Man, I love your blog!

    Comment by Mitchell — May 18, 2010 @ 3:44 am | Reply

    • Thank you so much! I’m glad you like it. Although I haven’t posted anything new lately. I have been sooo busy! But I will be posting again soon.

      Comment by Michele Spector — May 18, 2010 @ 4:32 am | Reply

  15. hope you are back to stay. missed you a lot.

    Comment by trisha — May 28, 2010 @ 1:29 pm | Reply

  16. enjoyed reading this piece. Really liked the imagery of the line ” a wisp of sand through fingers, endeavors to erase…”. Great work!

    Comment by tekia — June 27, 2010 @ 7:31 pm | Reply

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it! I always think of memory as subjective and emphemeral. Thanks for visiting!

      Comment by Michele Spector — June 27, 2010 @ 8:37 pm | Reply

  17. i really like this poem. yes i agree that memories are 1-triggered by so many other things, 2-are eroded or magnified by the effect of time. this is really great. take care, i will be back for more.

    Comment by 700miles — July 14, 2010 @ 6:59 pm | Reply

    • I enjoyed your thoughtful comments. Yes, so much is eroded (great word) over the years. It is colored, often, by our emotions or what is current in our lives. Glad you stopped by!

      Comment by Michele Spector — July 20, 2010 @ 1:47 am | Reply

  18. http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/thursday-poets-rally-week-30/

    welcome to Poets Rally week 30,
    let me know if you have a poem ready,
    Thanks for the support.

    miss you so much, how is everything?
    hope to see you soon.

    Comment by Jingle — October 9, 2010 @ 2:34 pm | Reply

    • Jingle, nice to hear from you. I am busy with school and am almost done. See you soon!

      Comment by Michele Spector — October 13, 2010 @ 7:42 pm | Reply


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