A Pensieve

I need to write more.  I’ve said this more often in the last three or four years than I care to remember.  Writing, for me, is a way to siphon off the excess thoughts and put them in a place where I can keep them.  JK Rowling describes the need for this to perfection in the Harry Potter series.

Dumbledore owns a shallow bowl of sorts called a Pensieve.  This is a clever device that perfectly combines the meanings of the words “pensive-to reflect or think deeply” and “sieve-a device used to separate fine pieces from the whole.”

With a Pensieve (and a wand for Potter purists), excess memories can be removed from one’s mind, deposited in the bowl, and re-entered when needed. A person can take in the entire event again–noticing details not noticed before–and even take other people into the memory with them. For that fact, they can go into the memories of others who have given them thoughts to put into the Pensieve.  It’s hindsight in 4-D with sights, sounds, and smells.  You can stroll around–go back into it as many times as needed–have a seat and stay awhile.  What a marvelous creation!

This blog has been my Pensieve, and I regret my negligence of it the past few years.  As I read back through, I see the many stories I recorded about life–my children especially–or just thoughts that kept running through my brain and needed a place to land.  Writing things down through a journal, or blog, or letters,  has the ability to cement events and clips of memory in a person’s mind. For instance, last night I was going through a notebook that I have.  It has several old lists in it–one for the Mother Daughter Luncheon, a grocery list, etc.  But it also had the following gem from Thad:

“I told Thad to get in the car to go to school, and he said, ‘I LAUGH in the face of getting in the car to go to school. Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha…(maniacal laughter.)'”

He was in 4th or 5th grade at the time.  Believe it or not–when I read it, I remembered him saying that.  More than anything, I remember the before school atmosphere of mornings when we were all the in the house and the kids were younger–their sleepy faces–the smell of Eggo waffles in the toaster–the sounds of arguing or laughter or too much silence meaning they’d gone back to sleep coming from their end of the house. Most mornings there was just much plodding along to get through another day.  But more often than not, I heard at least one zinger or two like the one above.  And all of those days strung together got me a few more wrinkles, several additional gray hairs,  college and high school sophomores, and some additional and much needed wisdom.

Over Easter weekend, my mom and I went to see Victoria.  We got to attend her freshman Bible class where her teacher, Dr. Baker, made a point I’ve never thought of before.  He said, “I believe God has planted in us the ability to forget.  It’s a gift.  Think about it, if we weren’t able to forget, we’d have to relive the sad, tragic, or demoralizing moments of our lives over and over in perfect clarity–not just the happy ones.  We can’t move forward or grow if we are constantly bombarded by all the things we’ve ever seen or done or read or heard.  So, God gives us the ability to forget, but He also gives us the ability to remember or to be reminded.”

Anyway.  I’m here again to confess to my four readers and myself that I need to write more.  Like anything that’s good for you, it takes discipline and a commitment to actually do it.  The school year is fast approaching.  Our summer has been not at all what we expected.  Time and events continue to slip away “like pearls from a string.” We are parsing out the minutes of each day to try and salvage as much as we can before Victoria goes back to college. The thoughts of “how in the world are we going to do this” start to creep in.  But as my blog Pensieve shows, we do it.  We make it through days bright and glorious as well as days plain and brown.  And through both kinds of days, we spend a lot of time living and laughing, learning and loving.

I need to remember this.  I need to write.




4 thoughts on “A Pensieve

  1. I think that perhaps it is okay to be pensive about our writing. While benefits of writing are often cathartic, healthy even, writing, if motivated by a “should”, is less authentic, at least from my experience. I always found I did my best writing when it flowed from my soul. There are times when the passion moved me and I couldn’t stop writing, and other times I just had nothing to say and so I didn’t. I think to some extent it has something to do with the stages in one’s life. Having said all that, I also think that good writing is about practice, so perhaps even when you think it is uninteresting, write anyway, you can be sure that at least one of your 4 readers (me) will gladly drink in what you have to say! I am a firm believer that if what you write is written in love and faith, there will always be someone out there who needs to hear your loving voice. Sending lots of love and good times to you and your family for the rest of this summer and beyond. Your friend in Canada. ❤

  2. That God-given ability to forget seems to manifest itself more often these days, especially when concerning car keys or why I came into in this room. Another excellent collection of thought from favorite neighbor lady.

  3. Leah Brauer

    Hi Roxanne!
    I am now going to start reading through your blog. Granny introduced me and now I am considering starting one of my own. You are really good at writing, I’d like to write that well someday. 🙂 Everybody has said that I write well and that a blog would really work for me, so we will see. I loved the reference to the pensieve, wich was interesting because I didn’t know tge meaning of the word. That’s what I love about your writing. I learn new things from it and I think about things I have never really stopped to think about before. I miss you and love you.
    See ya!

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