Saturday, 6 June 2015

Tales from yesterday?

Waking early yet again I listened to a small talk on the radio . It was about memory and how sometimes false memory can occur.

When you become old you have more memories tucked Inside your head than younger people...that much is obvious!

I am struck by the fact that during the months leading to his death my dear David was gripped by the urgent need to share his memories...he wrote many of them down and then talked at length about his working life and his relationships with close friends and colleagues.

I now wonder occasionally if I am following a similar route.....

I believe my memories so far are accurate...but I can never be sure...the notion of false memory syndrome is a bit worrying..and I realise that my war memories and life with my grandparents may not have been the glorious time I remember so well.....there were bad times to come but you tend to blot those events out over the years .so how accurate can they be?

One of my talents has always been the peace of empty my mind, to find the place in my head closer to meditate or to pray.

This clearly involves ridding my mind of all the scribble, the detritus of life which encroaches the quiet a young woman of the sixties I embraced the "new age" trends with some success. I was not a flower child for nothing! This technique I still use...and I hope the wonderful silence is real....

I don't sit down and try to remember occurs naturally, prompted by words on the radio or films on the TV.... But I am not yet gripped by the urgent need to recall my children, my early days, old loves and lives...but I know it's only a matter of time!

So please excuse my memories when they is the handing on of wisdom .occasionally, and of moments of joy as well as grief....and thankfully there are still wonderful moments , days , weeks of joy...thank you God.


  1. I'm not sure whether mine are real either, though I suspect we all put our own spin on the past.
    Not a bad thing really if it helps us remember the good rather than the bad,
    I enjoy your reflections on times past, some of which are very similar to my own, it all makes for interesting reading.

  2. Sometimes I wonder why memories from the likes of childhood are retained. I've discovered in the past few years, particularly when in the discernment process that they can bite you badly and leave you wrung out and emotionally exhausted.

    Having to do this for Ordination is about learning self awareness and where those triggers might lay that would make you a risk in pastoral situations, but I've often wondered is the reliving of the past pain, healing or a hurting process? Does the church do it deliberately to put candidates off? Does it do it deliberately to hurt people, by challenging them to cope with a troubled past?

    I'm in two minds about it. Yes it hurt, yes it made me very self aware, but it also left me emotionally vulnerable, in a way which I hadn't expected and which has the danger of making it difficult for me to stand slightly apart from a pastoral issue which resonates for me. A wise vicar uses the allegoric comparison of one foot in the stream and one firmly on the bank, but I know that my foot on the bank, could be decidedly unsteady>> I have coped so far, but one day I'm sure that something will face me, where only silence and prayer will resolve the situation and reference to someone else more capable of dealing with that particular situation.

    I know that those in active ministry, need to be able to cope with any situation they're face with, keeping themselves safe as well as the person who is seeking help, but I wonder if making the potential carer, deliberately emotionally vulnerable is the best preparation for any sort of ministry.

    In the Army, a particularly difficult and physically challenging course was designed to break you down to rock bottom, and than to build you up, physically and mentally for the challenges that you would face in particular situation. I was younger than and coped well with this sort of training, and learned that I could do anything I needed to do, if I had the determination to do so. But this isn't the mindset needed in ministry. Your're expected to enter these situations, aware of your vulnerabilities, being prepared to put them to one side to deal with the situation that confronts you - having been broken down to rock bottom in the process, and often, not rebuilt fully to where you're safe to be let out, so to speak.

    Sorry, for the moan, but your words really had that sort of impact on me - powerful, thoughtful ones.

    1. Your discernment process sounds much more rigorous than mine....I think it's possible to over think the past years have to learn to trust God and just get on with it I think!