Monday, February 28, 2011

Another kind of memory post.

The idea for this post came to me last week while I was working on my most recent Austrian memory post. Writing about my encounters with some significant sites of memory in Innsbruck, I found my mind turning to memories of a very different kind - memories of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes that I encountered on a more or less regular basis last summer. I'm sure that I took some of these sensory phenomena for granted at the time, but the examples that came to mind last week were ones that I consciously savored as I experienced them - the sort of things about which I thought, "This is something I'm going to miss."

One ordinary Innsbruck experience that I knew I would miss later (and that I miss even now, as I write these lines) was that of seeing clouds spill over the surrounding mountains on rainy days. The above images give some sense of what I'm talking about, though mere photographs can't compete with real experience. I'd like to think that I'd still be moved by the sight of these clouds even if I spent a lot more time in Innsbruck, just as I'm still captivated by the stars in the night sky even though I've spent my whole life looking at them.

I'm sure that those who are reading this have had experiences similar to mine. At the start of a new week, perhaps we would do well to recall some of these experiences in a spirit of gratitude. What are the simple, everyday things that you got to know in a particular place, and that you have missed - and perhaps always knew that you would miss, once those things were gone? AMDG.


At 2/28/2011 8:00 PM, Blogger Michelle said...

Your description of the clouds spill over the mountains reminded me of when I was on sabbatical in California more than a decade ago. I would sit in a chair in the living room, nursing my youngest, and watch the fog pour through the nearby pass in the hills. Both the fog and that time of closeness with my child were soon to pass, but the memories are strong still.

Thanks for the prompting...

At 2/28/2011 8:03 PM, Blogger Joe said...

You're welcome, Michelle - thanks for sharing the memory!

At 2/28/2011 8:25 PM, Blogger Barbara said...

I recall staying at an inn on the Rigi outside of Lucerne in Switzerland. The room had a dramatic view of Vierwaldstaettersee below. One afternoon there was a storm brewing. I will never forget the dark clouds sweeping rapidly past the mountains and woods and lake below. It was quite dramatic, a mini Goetterdaemmerung!

Also worth remembering was the sound of a small volcanic eruption on Sakurajima in the harbour of Kagoshima and the rain of black soot that followed. I believe this is the port where Francis Xavier landed in Japan.

Finally, on one of the last days I had in Japan, I felt an earthquake while I was high up in a hotel in Tokyo. Fortunately, the rooms were so tiny, it was not a problem staying vertical by extending my arms and bracing myself against the walls!

All are worth savouring and I am grateful for experiencing them (and surviving!).

At 2/28/2011 10:02 PM, Blogger Joe said...


Thank you for sharing those memories - I like the "mini Goetterdammerung" image!


Post a Comment

<< Home