Menosophical [men-oh-soffy-cul]; the condition of waxing introspective



Those of you who have been around for most of the life of this blog, ('tis but 10 months young), will recall it has run up and down the scale of feelings, time and effort.  That in itself reflects life. As these things should.  This is, after all a memoir; whether it happened 40 years past or a mere 40 minutes.

It can only reflect what has gone before.  

That does include, methinks, these occasional deep and meaningfuls... or perhaps they ought to be referred to as Random Access Thoughts.  RATs.

Yeah.  That works.  For today at least it works well.  I was, you see, very much reminded this week how "random" memory can be - unless we are paying very close and descriptive attention.  That is to say, through the written records or photography.

No.  That last doesn't work either.  It was the reason there was a bone of contention here in flat No. 6, somewhere in the better regions of Edinburgh.

Y'see, dear old dad decided to bring along an offering to me from the things he had held onto since mum's passing.  30 months ago mind.  Earlier, when he had clearly been paying attention himself, he had handed on to me a spectacles strap.  The kind that keeps them strung to the neck, thereby ensuring no more "where are they" moments.  Works brilliantly as long as I remember to put them on first thing in the morning...

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Then on Wednesday, he turned up with a stationery box.  About three inches high, eight inches long and maybe five from front to back. There is a drawer in the lower half and the top lifts to access the top part.  It has been a calligraphy set presentation from one of the larger and well known pen makers.  I have won prizes for my penmanship in earlier years. (All gone to pot now of course, typing having long been the preferred method of getting words down.) Dad obviously thought I was the logical recipient of said box.  I had opened the top and seen the ink and nibs and was well pleased.

As we sat after dinner, though, the bottom drawer got opened.  He had not investigated the thing himself it seems, for in there was a small treasure trove of memory.

Mother was a great journal writer herself.  Lord knows how many diaries have been filled. When no diary was to hand, she would note things on any available scrap, to ensure accurate recording later.  In the little drawer were a few scraps of a tiny notebook with scribbles about a trip she made. I am not going to relate that particular thing here, as there is an item very much associated with the memory which is still on its way from Australia.  I would like to photograph it and will offer this piece of "treasure" in a Menosukhi Post a few weeks hence.

Other contents were a handful of postcards from places visited in OZ with dad and he was able to fill us in on those.

The trouble began though, when about a dozen photographs emerged.  They were enjoyed and brought smiles.  Mostly.  One, however, raised quite a bit of debate.  It was of a house.  Nothing remarkable in itself.  Except that there was complete discord as to WHICH of the two houses my parents stayed in West Australia it was - even from dad himself!!

There was a good deal of similarity in the properties, which didn't help.  I was as guilty as any one, for I couldn't recall which came first - Armadale or Mandurah?   For an hour that evening the argument went round - younger sister (Mac2) in particular getting a bit hot and bothered.  She is the one in the family who is a bit prone to thinking that anything which happens has done so because she came up with the idea and/or was the key person present.  Wee brother (Mac3) finally took to the mobile phone internet maps and was able to settle the differences.  It was the Armadale residence and it came second.

What left me pondering, though, (again) was how history gets written in each of our own existences.  We all know that when it comes to activities and interests, we will tend towards groups of things and the sorts of folk who share them.

The writing of personal histories will, almost without fail, be coloured by those leanings. In Mac2's case here, it was all tied in to mum's undergoing chemo during the breast cancer. For Mac3 it was about the garden and helping dad mow round the tree.  For me, it was about doing what I could to keep things 'normal' because that is how mum wanted it. "Ill health is just part of life and life is simply to be lived."  That included making some wonderful journeys out from those two dwellings.

Hmmm; note to self - when the photo albums arrive, share some of West Australia with the captive audience.  Try to be accurate.

Peace reigns in flat No. 6 but the YAMster still has RATs in the belfry...

7 comments:

  1. We have experienced this with yours and mums trip to Australia. It is funny how everyone remembers things differently. I am sure there has been someone somewhere who has done a paper on it. Now that is an idea maybe I should write it. hehehe

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  2. Hari OM
    this is true your Ladyship - As long as the main points are noted, I guess the rest is just 'fluff'. Why indeed, do you not go for your PhD on the nature of RATs?? &*<>

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  3. A favorite Mark Twainerism of mine: a good story is not damaged by ignoring facts.
    I think I'm close in paraphrasing.
    Leading to my favorite observation: there is no such thing as objectivity.
    It's important to us personally, but we cannot be offended if no one else is completely interested.

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  4. Hari OM
    That is an excellent thought Joanne!

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  5. I agree with Joanne never let the facts get in the way of a good story, life is sometimes very serious and can always be lifted by a bit of lighthearted relief.
    Merle..............

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  6. Nice post - there are few things as unsettling as a clear memory that turns out to be wrong.

    I'll be back in the UK for a while next year - so I'm sure that it will happen to me.

    Glad you like the wordy post - I really don't know how to move from blogger to published! I do think about it, but somehow it feels like a vanity!

    Time will tell.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  7. I am reading the diary of Roald Amundsen's race to the Northpole at the moment and in the preface it actually advises to read the diaries of several of the other men on the expedition to get an accurate idea of what happened and how it was seen by others.

    I remember one thing about my youth that made a great impact on me. It happened to me and my brother and although he is only 1 1/2 year younger, he has no memory of it at all! So it obviously didn't have the same impact on him! Weird that...

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