Old people think back easily because there are lots of things to remember. Frederick Buechner wrote a book called “A Room Called Remember” (HarperSanFrancisco, 1984), which, he said, is “a room we can enter whenever we like so that the power of remembering becomes our own power” (5). He reminds us that what entering the room means is “taking time to remember on purpose” (6). And finally, “To have faith is to remember and wait, and to wait in hope is to have what we hope for already begin to come true in us through our hoping. Praise him” (12).
I have written a number of short pieces about men I remember, ones who have had an influence on my own life and thinking. I would like to write many more, because I have been influenced by many people, and when I remember them I have visions of some of our interactions, talks, and challenges. I don’t want to wipe them out of my past by “forgetting” them..
I have also been writing about my house, the one that I grew up in, remembering each room and some of things that strike me about that home in rural Pennsylvania. I take a slow stroll into the house and let my memory and imagination lead me through the kitchen, living room, upstairs bedrooms, cellar and attic,even the outside barns and sheds, sometimes meeting my siblings along the way, other times my father or mother, but always someone who was a part of the house–my home for many years.
I don’t take this walk often–sometimes it can be painful and I limp along. Other times I get sidetracked, remembering too much, like the blood on the back steps when my little sister was accidentally killed.
We had a spring on our small farm and I loved to drink its refreshing cool water. When a little story crops up in my house wandering, it is like drinking from that spring. You can’t gulp down cold water from a spring and you shouldn’t run through your house either.
[October 13, 2014]