Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How we learn, how we forget

13 years ago, I learned to crochet.
As a child, I was always begging to sew or do something with my hands, and my mom knew just the person who could teach me. I don't think there was a discussion about if I wanted to learn crochet or not, and I was so desperate to learn something.

Crochet was this Tia's art, she was always working on a beautiful project, like a queen sized bedspread or a filet crochet doily. She taught me with such patience and love. We are relatives, but not close, I always called her Tia. She taught me the way a dear mother or grandmother would impart their skill to a younger generation. I dont remember us talking much, I just remember her skill, her patience, the matter of fact but so sweet way of teaching me, the way she would gently place the yarn in my hands over and over, and the way the yarn seemed to flow from Tia's hands like liquid. Over and over, we would repeat the same steps, week after week. That I how I learn, by repetition, over and over, and over again. Once I can copy or follow steps I start to understand why. She never got frustrated with me, I got frustrated with myself. There was so much to learn!
Tia was an extremely talented crochet artist. So when I saw her this weekend, my heart hurt. See, she has forgotten things, like how to crochet. She is 99 years old.

Isnt our memory mesmerizing? There are some things we try so hard to forget, and others that we desperately cling to. Yet other memories we think are gone are resurrected with a whiff of a scent from a time past.

Why do some memories fade but others stay oh so clear?
a January New England sunset I am desperately trying to never forget
Why can our memory be our greatest friend and worst enemy?

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