Memories and tombs

Use it or lose it

November is a dark kind of month. Dark memories, dark nights, dark moods if you have seasonal affective disorder, the end of the church year, waiting for the light to dawn. Remembrance, memory, memorial, tomb. Mnema. When we retreat into memories of times past, we can get stuck—entombed—there. Like a black hole that sucks everything into it, we start to live in the tomb of memory with the door closed, living in the distant past, unable to look outward. Dementia. Locked away. That’s what happens to some people as they age and lose function in part of the brain that deals with recent memory. It’s as if the only part of the memory that functions is the long-ago memory. That’s what happens to some people who chose not to let go of the past, and who seem to rejoice in dredging up past grievances. Remembrance ceremonies in November remind us how destructive humans can be when we act on pride and the will to control others. I hope they can also point how constructive can be our resolve to make the world a more delightful place when we replace the desire for revenge with the desire for love. And I don’t mean soppy, emotional love. I mean proper love that’s hard work, caring, sharing, working, enduring. Replacing me-me-me with us-us-us. When we let go of the past and open the tomb of memory, resentments of the past fly away. Rolling away the stone that entombs us in our memories enables resurrection and new life. Roll on!

About Rambling Rector

Church of England Parish Priest
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4 Responses to Memories and tombs

  1. Alan Clegg says:

    Hi Stanley
    I like your comments about letting go, but it is not living in the past that is the problem, it is fear for the future if one lets go of what is already familiar and has stood in good or bad stead for many years. It is the fear of letting go of old perceptions and grievances and not knowing how and what to replace them with, that is the problem. Bridges have been torn down even by previous generations which have been carried through to current generations and cannot easily be rebuilt.

    • I think they are two aspects of the same thing. Fear, yes. Fear of the future therefore clinging to the past. In any case, these distract us from the present.

      • Nicolas says:

        Rev. Totally agree with you. Forgiveness for the past, love for the present and peace to the future.

        PS: hope to get in touch with you. Really need to talk (from Chile)

  2. Patricia Doogue says:

    As always Stanley, a pleasure to read your ‘ramblings’, though quite depressive, have to agree with what you say. Hope many will read this, and like you say ‘roll away the stone that entombs us’ as we look forward to celebrating the hope that the resurrection brings to all who seek a new life with God. Hope all is well in Portlaoise and its environs, and with you and your family. Have been traversing the diocese for the past few sundays owing to the vacancy in Dunleckny, as our rector is in Oz!!! l have to actually take a service in my own parish for the first time since last February!! Just hope l remember the way!! Blessings. Patricia.

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