“What sticks to memory, often, are those odd little fragments that have no beginning and no end…”
– Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried
I’ve been doing a bit of cleaning after moving back home. So many lost treasures, and so much junk! In an effort to de-clutter and get rid of some material things, I’ve been giving away books/trying to sell them. It wasn’t extremely difficult, but I did find myself sad to see some books go. I imagine it’s the same kind of sadness that dog breeders feel when they give away/sell their puppies. It’s kind of weird, but I have emotional ties to books. For some, it’s the actual story. For others, it’s the memory of what was going on in my life at the time that I was reading it.
As I sorted through my books, there were only a handful that I decided to keep (separate from all my cookbooks/food related books, and I also count series as one unit). One of them was The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. It’s one of my favorite books, though I’ve probably only read it, at most, twice. I think I first read it in my sophomore or junior year of high school, though my mind is starting to “create” a new memory to reconcile the possibility that I might have first read it in 8th grade or freshman year.
Anyway, the quote about memory has always stuck with me because it’s so true. Memory is such a weird and interesting thing. Sometimes we are able to remember events with such unswerving detail, yet other times, memories can change to what we want them to be. Or perhaps it doesn’t change, but our perspective widen. Sometimes it’s just the flash of an image, a scent, a feeling. And it has no particular meaning except that our minds have decided to grab hold of it.
I don’t know exactly where I wanted to go with this memory post except maybe to start a series of memories as vignettes. So…stay tuned!