Friday, February 17, 2012
As a writer, memory is so important and so intriguing to me. Those shared memories are the things that bring people together and stir emotion. Memory fuels our creativity, in that when we dedicate something, honor someone, we are doing so to commemorate, to keep alive.
I think it's equally important to commit things to memory. Maybe it's a favorite lyric, or a Bible verse, or maybe even a proverb, or a weddings dress, but those words and images you keep in the forefront of your mind can never be taken from you, they will always be with you, there to hold on to and remember when you need them most.
Coco Chanel once said "Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman."
One of the reasons I strive to write is to shape how I will be remembered. Perhaps it is a bit vain, but I would argue all writers write in part for this reason. I hope I am remembered as the woman who dressed impeccably; who drank a few cups of coffee a day; who was kind; who could recite T.S. Eliot; and who wrote from the heart, and wrote it well.
My French Aunt, Colette Copeland, came to visit me recently. I told her I remembered the first time she came in to our work. But that faint memory is now replaced by the new, fresh ones I have of lunch and coffee with a truly gifted artist. I dont know when I will see Colette again, but I remember her ever so fondly, as a lady, as funny, as someone who likes Marilyn Monroe and dark chocolate. And I ever so appreciate her sending me these postcards, because it shows that she remembers my love of shoes, socks, stripes, and coffee.
The card that says "remembered" reminded me that friendship can be built upon remembering those things that another person holds most dear. And since Colette and I are both fans of Chanel, I know I will definitely always remember Colette not by what she wore, but by who she is. And these pictures will definitely help : )