The Armstrong Family Circus

published and designed by Wiseacre Design Studio

Maineville • Ohio • USA

Hosted in the United States by Eleven2, Inc.

Some old communion cups and a coat

Thursday October 15th 2009

by Paul Armstrong

Some old communion cups and someone's coat


Our memories will always betray us. Our memories have no care for facts. We remember things not as they literally were, but for the epherma that surround the moment. The memories become stories that treasure, new pictures of the way we felt. Moments pass and we can't hold on to them, but memories endure.


Every parent has that moment — they look at their kids and cannot reconcile the layers of images. This child, who once was two years old and barely rambling coherent sentences, now sputters dramatic, pre-teen diatribes about how much you hate them and everything is unfair. They grow up, and you can't stop it. That is a parents double-edge sword.


I know, it's such a cliché to say "They grow up so fast"; but they're clichés for a reason. While you want your kids to grow (especially when they're chewing on the very last nerve in your body that keeps you from completely losing control) as they do grow up you want it all to stop. You want to be able to somehow savor every element of who they are; they way they look, they way the talk — because you know it will flash by with the pain of aging. You find yourself desiring to "experience" and "savor" and "make special" every moment of time.


Sadly there is no way to fully "experience" every moment of life, for the mere fact that life is happening. To experience life, you have to engage. To engage you have to immerse yourself in the moment, which often doesn't afford you the luxury of absorbing the minutia of life. But that's why we have memories, not for the details, but for the emotions, the story. The memory of that time out weighs the specifics.


Don't try and orchestrate something that ultimately you'll forget (because you were too busy focusing on the details). You can't stop time, you can't stop aging, but you can absorb life as it happens and retain the painting of the memories; those will last a lifetime.




Comments for "Some old communion cups and a coat"

Reminds me of Andy Osenga's "Photographs".

Man, I am sad to say you are so right. My son is already two and so much is changing so quickly. If you get a chance, check out the trailer for Toy Story 3, it might sound stupid but the montage of Andy growing up almost made my teary-eyed.

@Geoff I have no heard the song (being remedied right now). Also, you can (now) click the post date on your comment to get the permalink. Sorry about that.

@Mike Well thank you.

@Preston. I totally watched it the other day, and was absolutely welling up (reminds me of the Jesse scene from Toy Story 2 - gah, cannot hold it together in that scene - damn you Pixar!!).

This is probably scientifically inaccurate (but I hear the word is still out on science) but my guess is the harder you attempt to create memories the less likely you are to actually remember.

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