Memory, therefore, not simply as the resurrection of one’s private past, but an immersion in the past of others, which is to say: history – which one both participates in and is a witness to, is a part of and apart from. Everything, therefore, is present in his mind at once, as if each element were reflecting the light of all the others, and at the same time emitting its own unique and unquenchable radiance.

Stop focusing on your past mistakes. Don’t be ashamed of the things that you’ve done. We ALL have made mistakes. Don’t you see? All of those things helped shape you into the beautiful person that you are today! Hold your head up high because you didn’t allow your past mistakes to consume you. You learned! You conquered! You became a better YOU. Be proud of who you are TODAY!

It seems to me that when you look back at a life – yours or another’s – what you see is a path that weaves into and out of deep shadow. So much is lost. What we use to construct the past is what has remained in the open, a hodgepodge of fleeting glimpses. Our histories, like my father’s current body, are structures built of toothpicks. So what I recall of that last summer in New Bremen is a construct of both what stands in the light and what I imagine in the dark where I cannot see.

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