Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Memory Bowl

Ellie, at Real Toads, gave us the prompt of a memory bowl, to fill with objects that evoke memories, photograph it,  and write a poem about them. I havent done the visual part of the prompt, as my memory bowl is between my ears and full of things that cant be photographed. But I will try to write some down.

In memory.......
A little yellow cottage on Christleton Avenue,
awnings lowered over windows like sleepy eyelids,
smell of sweet peas and of pinks,
water slapping the side of the house,
waking me,
as Grandma wet down everything
against the summer heat.

Teen angst, no understanding
of what was unsettled within,
stumbling, flailing,
a blind puppy of need
bumbling about, untended.

Marriage, which was to be the cure
and was no cure,
spit me out the other side
and then the journey
at long last
walking through fallen leaves
in the West End of Vancouver
at twenty-seven,
realizing that this life, finally,
was mine.
Crying when I read the words
of the Desiderata:
You are a child of the universe.
No less than the moon and the stars
you have the right to be here.
A brand new concept,
as was the sense of self,
just beginning.

Then Jonathan Livingston Seagull,
learning to soar, alive and free,
first time being me,
then crashing.
This was inevitable.

In my little house full of children
on Ethel Street,
in Kelowna,
I finally made the home
I had so long been
searching for.
Laughter, noise, busyness,
a huge summer garden:
happy years, and healing.

More pain watching my children
trying to soar, and crashing
in their turn,
struggling to find footing
in an incomprehensible world.
Holding steady so they had a safe port
to come home to.

Then one huge leap
from desert to ocean
and ten shining golden years of joy
in the home of my spirit.

So much growing is required of us.
Every decade a totally brand new life.
Too many memories for this old gray head
to hold upright on my shoulders.
It keeps wanting to lay itself down
on a pillow,
the better to remember
all those exhilarating and exhausting years.

My memory bowl got filled
to the brim
with laughter, with wonder, with broken hearts,
with lessons learned, with miracles,
with serendipities,
with golden friends and messages
from the universe,
with broken trust which taught me to trust myself,
with fear of risk which forced me to take risks,
with a search for love that
taught me to love all people,
with a journey made
and the price I was glad to pay.

In the late afternoon of my journey
memory is what I own most.
I sift through my memory bowl
like a goblet of grapes,
selecting first one, then another,
at will, watching the grainy film blurring on the screen........
those long-gone days, those people
from a gentler time which was,
simultaneously, the harshest time:
one heart's perilous passage
into tomorrow.
The recipe has always included Sorrow.


  1. You walk many paths - keep walking 'til your soul cravings are met.

  2. What a post, the memory bowl sounds such a therapeutic way for many to heal, or maybe just release.
    Our journeys are what create us, and often sorrow and pain play a huge part in shaping the beings we become, I learnt long ago to embrace the pain and to realise the boon of its presence within my story. Finding myself came when I was truly on my own, and since taking that brave step in to the void of singledom I have never looked back.....

  3. Sherry, your memory bowl holds the treasures of your entire life. I enjoyed journeying with you!

  4. I don't think we can go through life without knowing something of everything and that includes the sadness and sorrow doesn't it?
    But, it's whether we chose to allow the pain to teach us what we are supposed to learn from it or, we push it way and disown it and then are never free of it at all.
    What a lovely full bowl you shared.

  5. Can feel your journey Sherry ....through thorns and rough roads...
    But one thing I have always wondered, then why and how those all odd experiences becomes treasured??? or why we feel very touched and miss them...

  6. Wow, Sherry, such a life lived! You have traveled many paths. The sweetness and the sorrow in your words, paints the picture so well. It takes time to age the memories into sweet wine, some still are bitter, but we try to see the beauty in the fragments. We remember what we learned, who we became, how how this memory taught us, showed us our back bone and we moved onto a new path. I love this poem, the outlined view you gave us, just enough to see a facet of your soul's journey and be reminded of our own! Beautiful!
    I'm in awe xXx

  7. These words are so authentic to the human experience, and no one can prepare you for this journey:

    with broken trust which taught me to trust myself,
    with fear of risk which forced me to take risks,
    with a search for love that
    taught me to love all people,
    with a journey made
    and the price I was glad to pay...


I so appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.
Thank you so much. I will be over to see you soon!