Memories in the Air

“Memory’s question is not just ‘Do you remember?’ but “How do you want to be remembered?’”

-The Rev. Scott Taylor

The air does seem full of memories these days between All Souls, Veterans Day and Thanksgiving with its family reunions on the horizon. Just before writing this, I was at the Veterans’ Day town observance where an appeal was made for help with some lost history.  They asked anyone with any knowledge of the 32 soldiers from town who died in WW II to contact the Veterans Office.

The Soul Matters theme for November- which is also Native American history month- is “holding history”.  What do we hold, what do we let go of, what do we reinterpret or lose by mistake? What stories will our children and next generations tell about us?

Last Saturday I was invited by our sexton, Jose Dilone, to attend a basketball tournament for his program, Suenos Basketball. It was important to be there because he was honoring some community members by putting their names on the kids’ uniforms… and mine was one of them.  I can safely say that never in my wildest dreams did I EVER think a basketball team would have my name on their shorts, even if just for one game! I still have a searing childhood memory of trying basketball and my very first game… when I headed to the wrong basket.  Lord knows how long I cried that night.

I did recover but didn’t play another season… or become a basketball afficionado. And yet there I was on Saturday not quite 5 miles down the road having a good time watching the youth tear up and down the court. They were great kids.  I was the only “white” person there. What a bizarrely and dramatically segregated community we live in. How can this be “normal”? Can you imagine what story folks in the future will say about our society, and the divergent stories that the suburban and urban kids will tell?

In addition to thinking about ordering your turkey, it’s a good time of year to think about what stories you’d like to tell- or listen to- at the Thanksgiving table. What are you curious about? What questions might you ask of relatives or friends?  What photographs might you share? What are you grateful for in your family history?  What was “normal” for you when you grew up but now seems strange?  How do “your people”- or you- want to be remembered?

Have some fun with it! One really good question will do.

Yours, with one foot in the past and one in the present,

Rev. Lee