Sculpting Memory

Mourning by Harold M. Schulweis

Memory is our life 
Amnesia our death.
Memory is our strength .
Forgetfulness our attrition.

To remember is a mandate 
a commandment from within

Memory is no camera 
No indiscriminate recording of the past
impartially registered.

Memory is a 
searching for a perspective
that will illuminate the present.

Memory is
a winnowing, 
sifting through the ashes
to find an ember of meaning 
a smoldering coal with which
to kindle a fire and warm the spirit.

Yizkor is a Hebrew verb written in the future tense
For memory is not for the past
but the sake of that which may happen.
Yizkor is no passive registry of yesterday
but an active strategy for tomorrow.

If memories are to make us stronger, wiser, kinder
they must be picked carefully, lovingly.
Those moments of affection, those glorious
embraces, unrehearsed praises, confirming handshakes
raised to prominence
And those recollections that make us sad
filling us with despair
They too cannot be neglected to the ash-heap
but must be confronted
worked on hard.


* This document, or any portion thereof, may not be reproduced without the written permission of the author.



Monday, January 31, 2011 - 11:30am