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Sunday, August 5, 2012

Making Memories

Memories, light the corners of my mind
Misty watercolor memories of the way we were.
Scattered pictures of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we give to one another
For the way we were.
Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line?
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me would we? Could we?

Memories, may be beautiful and yet
What's too painful to remember
We simply choose to forget
So it's the laughter we will remember
Whenever we remember
The way we were. 

(If you don't recognize the above lyrics, they are from the song entitled The Way We Were which was written by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and his wife. It became Barbra Streisand's first #1 hit on Groundhog Day, 1974)

As writers we create memories and lives for our characters. Take for example this movie. It follows the lives of a man and woman who somehow fall in love though they have little in common -- except for the fact that she can see greatness in him as a writer. She wants him to write Pulitzer prize winners, but he just wants to make the big bucks and is happy doing that in Hollywood. Conflict arises with different standards and different politics which leads to the dissolution of the marriage. Years later they meet again but it is an awkward moment. What they once had is gone and each will have to deal with their own memories of their time together.

In reality as we look back on the memories of past times, how do we re-color them? Can we be objective? Or as the words to the song imply that we will remember what was special and the rest will go into mists of forgetfulness? In our own lives there is probably some good to forget some of the hard or stressful times and move on with our lives and remember the good.

But what about our country's history? How much of our current history is being re-written so it is more politically acceptable or towards a specific agenda? As an example, having newer history accounts of 9/11 that say we were attacked by "terrorists" and neglecting to mention that they were all Muslim Extremists. Those of  us who lived through the events have the actual memories but with history books sanitizing it how will it read in 50 years?

Have you ever watched those stories of reporters on the street asking basic history and current event questions and the general public (whether college age or middle age) can't come up with the correct answer. One of the scariest ones I heard was of people being asked who Hitler was and the responses were little more than "I've heard the name" and "he's some guy from Germany." Yet, if you asked those people questions about current TV shows would they have the correct answer in a minute?

With an election coming up in just a few short months, I hope those of you who plan to vote will take the time to study the candidates and what they stand for before voting. That doesn't mean just watching the attack ads on TV or on the radio. We've all lived through the past four years and have our memories of them. If you can't take the time to learn and study the issues carefully, then just stay home and watch TV and live in that reality.

This post has been my input to the CW Blog Chain as listed on the right. As you can probably guess, it's all about memories.


  1. Wonderful post, Chris. I loved the idea that, as writers, we create memories for our characters! What a great concept.

    Got you on my links now; must have had an old list. Thanks so much for the heads up.

  2. Thanks for following up. I looked ahead to other bloggers and theirs wasn't updated.

  3. Shocking that people didn't know who Hitler was...

    Great post! Really made me think.


  4. Thanks Chris - very thought provoking - political correctness and agendas are rampant.

  5. I just read a book called, "Who Killed Chaucer?" in which Terry Jones and others argued that everything we know about Richard II we get from propaganda sources from his usurper, Henry IV. All of the history "we know," all of Shakespeare's inspiration . . . all colored memories because the winners write the history. We surely can be challenged to look more objectively at our own memories and the political spin being handed to us in history books and television commercials.

  6. Yes, we need to be aware of political spin on the news which we once believed was unbiased but has been creating their own truth by leaving out much of it.

  7. Chris, this post reminds me of the famous quote by George Santayana: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

    You have very valid warnings here to not allow others to color and rewrite the facts. I'm always sadly astounded at how short the American Memory seems to be. We need to have our eyes and ears open and our memories sharp. I would hate for us to revisit one of the dark snares of history, from which the world barely escaped, simply because we would rather be mentally lazy and allow others to think for us. Good job on this post!!


  8. I can't believe you posted on this, Chris. I was just humming that song to myself the other day. Great minds think alike, yes? :-)And great points about the upcoming election. Things sure have changed all right, but not for the better.

  9. Interesting post. Made me say, hummmm. Thanks!