The entirety of a life

“You only get to keep what you refuse to let go of.”

That’s Jonathan Safran Foer, in his new novel, Here I Am.

Memories — more than any other capacity — inspire us, ground us, teach us, and revisited years later, provide us guidance home.

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We keep coming home to memories to try to look again. What memory represents, not clearly, but in full gray tones, is hope. Hope that life moves on, that forward motion is inevitable, that we learn, that we will be.

One can only hope that one’s senses, intuitions, become sharpened over time such that they benefit the entirety of a life. Sometimes people overlap only briefly and don’t get the benefit of that acuity. But the wisdom those people impart can leave residue that brings light to an entire life.

Memories are a starting point for hope. Where they lead is up to us.