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June 2nd 2011…On Memory and Belonging

June 2, 2011

I’ve posted a couple of poems from a long standing anthology of poetry of mine based on the connection between Memory and Belonging.

The poems are “Welcome to Gosford” and “An Old House.”

The first is an old poem from when I lived back in Gosford. I thought I’d dig it up and give it an edit after speaking to my friend about the, once more, rising suicide rate in the city. The second is a memory from one house I used to live at during the same period and just up the street from the bridge.

Now, I won’t comment too much on the subject matter of these poems, but instead offer a little into memory, belonging, and the interconnectedness of the two. One hallmark of both of these things are changeability and fallibility. No one, even a person with so-called perfect recollection, has perfect memory. It is subject to perspective, emotions, and bias. Belonging, too, is something deeply connected to memory and experience and easily affected by these former factors.

So, from what I’ve just said you could say, “Nothing is real! We’re all just leaves twisting in a storm!” And finish with a defeated whimper. Well, that might be true, but what I’m trying to discover in these poems are my own connections to my memories. What do I remember and how has it shaped my life? Are my memories even real or at the time did I only convince myself (through some factors of my ego) that something is real? I have changed since my childhood, what are the defining moments? Have these been positive or negative? Have I been living a lie? Is Darth Vader my father? OK, a little dramatic, but hopefully you see my point. Are there dramatic moments like these that shape us? Or is it just the monotony of existence that whittles us away?

The same with our connections to places and people. What is belonging? We see this used everywhere to tie us to places, things, and people. But what is true belonging? Does it come from our past? Can we escape the future it holds for us? And what if our sense of belonging is based on something so transient as our childhood memories? Could we get smacked in the head one day, forget a “life changing moment”, and have it change us? Could we repress or rethink our memories to have a better past?

Well, a lot of deep and silly questions there. I would say more, but would rather let the poems do the talking and your brains do the thinking.

I’ll post more poems on Memory/Belonging soon and even create a category for the anthology, I think.

Peace and Regards

AJG

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