Memory

Memory is on my mind. We carry them around with us always, but things have memory too - of place, of use, of purpose, of meaning. So what is it, that thing we call memory? A collection of sensory impulses and associations? A brick does not remember, but it does make us remember, and if we did not know it, it tells us something of that which we do not know. And those things associated with memory - the associations that hang off of or are packed tight within each fragment of a sight, smell, taste, or sound -  are what make place that thing itself, make that intangible memory, and so, in this tactile place, finite but evolving, we aim in a way to be building with memory, with those elements that make up memory, and not in spite of it, to not erase it, but reembody it and add to it our own pieces of the picture. These things, these boards and bricks, charred by fire and eroded by rain, deep with tight old-growth grain and dense with orange and red and purple clay dug from some nearby hillside, stamped at their sources varied but near, these things have their own memory, and to do them justice is to work to retain them, among all of the other that is too far gone, to sweat and toil over some silly chunks of clay and planks of pine, that seems to us worth it, to retain those elements as pieces of place. Memories, these memories, then, will not just to be put into a landfill to be excavated in some far off future, if at all, and wondered over, orphaned from their origin, but will remain with this place, the carriers and bearers of that memory, not to glorify it, but simply be visible links to this place in those times now gone, not lost at the hands of reckless disregard, but retained at the hands of respectful effort on their behalf. They are just things, in a strictly pragmatic sense, but they are also symbols, and so it is worth the effort to pull out what all we can. To salvage memory from these bits is to not wipe them away, to connect us who touch and see them now with who packed and fired and laid them,  sawed and hauled and nailed them, and then who touched them, a warm crackling coal fireplace in the dead of winter, who walked upon them day after day.  In whatever small way, to know that past - to salvage memories.

[KMN]