Memory, All Alone In the Moonlight

“When we stitch a quilt, plant a rose bush, paint a picture, write words from the heart – express our love in a myriad of ways – we are leaving a reminder of how deeply we loved.”
Sitting in a circle among several ladies in a Christ-centered recovery group, I gestured toward Dr. Daniel Siegel’s book, The Developing Mind, referencing all the scientific insights I had gained. I know that I need to keep biblical insights at the forefront of my mind, though.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Alright, so now that I have given that disclaimer I should also note that I haven’t the slightest clue about what interpersonal neurobiology entails. All I know is that I have been learning something worth knowing everyday. I have been taking walks around the neighborhood in hopes of finding quiet solace and places to focus on reading the book. I have also made sanctuary on the patio of the family with whom I am staying for the duration of the discipleship program. I would remove the red pillows once I finish my devotions and meditations. Each time, I feel stronger, more content, and bit more trusting. I can see. I glimpse what the future holds.

Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also if full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness…if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.

Luke 11: 34, 36
Seriously, I never know what I am going to say whenever I begin writing these posts. I often just go with the first sprout of inspiration and cultivate all the ideas around that. This book has many terms to describe this, but the simplest way to put it: “neurons [in the brain] that wire together fire together.” In simpler terms, there are neuropathways constructed in the brain, actual cells that “encode” information based on many different experiential factors of the human existence. They will attach to other neurons which are similar.They all play key roles in the production of our mental process which subsequently influences habits and actions.
So, let us look at a basic outline of my most recent mental process:
I thought of the word memory.
I remembered how Mr. Schneebly completely shut down Summer Hathaway in School of Rock when she began singing “Memory.”
I decided to google the song.
I listened to it.
(The cat makeup kind of scared me.)
I recalled the walk I took around the neighborhood earlier this evening.
An echo of the discomfort resounded from when I had perched down on rock to read.
I was reading the chapter on Memory in The Developing Mind.
There you have it. You will know that it is the result of a metaphysical lightning storm in your brain the next time that your mind wanders. Just don’t make an excuse or go bragging about it–people will look at you kind of like how I looked at these guys:
I know exactly where I stand physically, but perhaps a part of me wants to liberate myself from the places where I no longer belong. After all, I am not  there anymore. As Dr. Siegel states, “Memory is not a static thing, but an active set of processes.” This leaves me wondering how much of my daily thoughts, habits, and reactions are influenced if not dictated and formed around my memories alone. I wonder how I can find inner solace. I long for a detachment from the “then and now.” Soon, I find myself beginning to stumble towards a mysterious cavity, an undisclosed corner hidden from even the light of my own human understanding. Something tells me this is dangerous. I am then illuminated in the dim light that suddenly begins to flicker nearby. When I open my eyes, I close the books, my mind feels like a smoothie of really smart words and chopped up phrases of a voice that resembles a cross between Dr. Phil and Joyce Meyer.
I am sitting down on a rock more real than the one that I now simply remember from earlier today. This book, too, will be a semantic facet of my memory. There is one thing I will never forget, one thing that is truly constant and unyielding notwithstanding my fallible memory: Jesus was there with me then in all my previous moments just as much as He is now.
Memory, turn your face to the moonlight.

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