Wednesday, November 02, 2005

I love my aural memories:

My memory doesn't work terribly well, or at least my personal memories are poorly organized. I'm not much for visual memory either. But there are sounds that evoke entire persons to me, and I love it when those sounds drop into my mind. Sometimes I remember a particular not-quite-right pronunciation of my name, and then the beloved uncle, whose first language was not English and who pronounced it that way, comes vividly to mind, his looks, his speech rhythms, things he said, things about him I then proceed to remember.

When we're singing at religious services, we get to one word every week that one old man always, always mispronounced, singing confidently and loud: an incorrect consonant, producing a striking effect. He passed away more than thirty years ago but with that word, he left me a message. And remember how he talked, an issue he cared about, how he usually looked.

When I'm thinking, if my thoughts utilise a word beginning with Y, "yellow" perhaps, I'll mentally change the sound to a J (as in Jellow) and my thoughts detour to the two Cuban emigrees, both very interesting people (here's one of them), whom I worked with in 1970's.

I look foward to my aural memories.

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