“Maybe the most sacred function of memory is just that: to render the distinctions between past, present, and future ultimately meaningless; to enable us at some level of our being to inhabit that same eternity which it is said God himself inhabits.” -Frederick Buechner

I’ve shared this quote before, and as it happens to be written on the first page of my current journal, I keep rereading it of late, and thinking about it. Thinking about it a bit obsessively.

I’m not sure but I believe Buechner is writing about the privilege of being a writer. Finally, I’m not sure I agree with him. When we read a book, we can dogear a page and go back to it, and when we turn back, when we let our eyes fall again on that page, we’re there. And, yes, it’s seductive, that act of writing the page ourselves. But it’s not the same as dwelling in eternity…is it?

I think this is a poem asking to be written.

0 replies
  1. Kathleen Kirk
    Kathleen Kirk says:

    Yes, please write this poem!

    I find memory to be oddly unreliable and a partner to the imagination as well as to documented (or photographed!) history.

    Side note: I went to hear a playwright speak this week, and he was recalling how much he loves the play Plenty, by David Hare, a favorite in his youth, when he identified with the activist wife. When he re-read the play, older, with wife and kids and a house, he identified with the husband, thinking, “Why is this woman [the activist] tearing up my house?” His memory was altered by experiencing the play differently at a different point in time, which now also entered the memory stream.


  2. Carolynne Harris
    Carolynne Harris says:

    Time and memory are illusions and come to think of it illusive too, I think we are every age we have been but the “will be” is the question? I guess the idea is when we reach enlightenment – we know the answer. Hope it’s not all poppycock.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *