Containing Memory

The sleepy basket girl
walks through the pink Lemurian mist
each early morning,
singing out, in a sweet alto voice,
“Dreams for sale!
Look in my basket,
full of pretty dreams!
Pick any one you like!
Only cost you a quick kindness,
don’t cost nothin’ to look!
Old dreams, new dreams,
anything you can dream of!
Anything can happen today
in the City of Ladies!
Come on, now, my dears,
you beautiful Lemurian dreamers,
Try one of my fresh dreams right now –
today could be amazing!
And where she walks she leaves a magic trail
of pink and purple glittering pixie dust,
a few sand dollars, some pretty shells,
the heavy, sweet scent of longing
for what could have been,
and just a hint of what may yet be
by Kerry Vincent (c) 2008


The thing about the story of the hero, as Ursula Le Guin points out in The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, is that it is ‘his’ story and not ours. More worryingly, we have primarily heard about “the sticks and spear sand swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things and in the process stories about the minutiae of daily life have been lost.

One of the special things about the work that was done within Lemuria was that it grew to become a place filled with stories about people rather than stories about great battles. In this environment you could write, quite simply, as Kerry Vincent did, about glittering pixie dust, pretty shells, sand dollars and the scent of longing.

If it is human to fill baskets, and every other imaginable container, with things that you want, or want to remember, and then, leave them and pull these things out when you need them then, like Le Guin, I am human.

As my ball grows, it will become like an intricately woven net that captures moments in time.When unwoven, at some time, it might be found to contain little more than a note, a photo, a pebble. To many these things may appear worthless, and the ball may be discarded as a bundle of rags.

No matter!

What matters is that I know what memories, potential stories to be told, lie within it.

10 thoughts on “Containing Memory

  1. Oh, the synchronicity, my stars. As ever, Heather. I will read the Le Guin article a little later as I am knee deep in culling my art supplies n bits of gathered treasures over years (read: hellacious mess). I cannot create a thing until I make room, clear a spot to do so. Creative Foraging’s existence is giving me the will to continue crawling forward with the job.

    The synchronicity lies in the fact that I am tossing the once-desired tools that I never or little used but don’t suit me and placing all manner of remaining treasures that have no meaning to anyone but me in baskets. Today I was musing over coffee how I would like to return to my revelry of vessels and nests and all like things that hold such deep meaning on so many levels. Peaceful, fulfilling, healing. There has been too much war in my life, within and without. Mine is the path of peace, nourishment, and nurturing.


      • Synchronicity has long fascinated me as well. It is an awesome and humbling display of Energy. When it benefits me I feel as though I am being nourished by the Universe. I am arrogant, but in such instances I dare not refuse what I am given.

  2. Heather and Steph together again—magical! Heather, the article by LeGuin “fits” my preference for reading and usually for viewing. I enjoy character driven pieces, I love finding out what makes a character tick, watching how they change, grow, interact with those around them. Loved all the old LOST episodes for their back stories and the writers’ talent for always leaving me with my mouth open in surprise at the beginning and end of each show. Now I watch Person of Interest and Elementary and savor the characters growth and attachment to each other, see respect and affection as they show loyalty and build trust. I can also watch a movie or TV show with a convoluted plot and simply put the plot on hold if I’m enjoying other elements of the production—scenery, music, special effects, scene transitions. Yes, all of those but, oh, those characters. Thanks so much for this post–it’s wonderful to have you back–you’ve always had an extraordinary knack for finding pieces that turn on the little lights in my brain. Love it!

  3. When I retired in February, 2011, and after having kept a daily log of activities at work for tracking purposes, I continued to track daily activities at home: what I was doing, who I was contacting, what I was doing in the garden or house, what I was writing and reading – all to show me that my life was still filled with purposeful and enjoyable events. My calendar became the nesting place for my thoughts and actions, feelings and meditations, memories of the past and projections for the future. And I got back into blogging which I had so enjoyed at Soul Food Café created by Heather.

    Shortly thereafter I discovered Project Life, thought I would really enjoy trying it as I am a visual person. This is a system of memory keeping developed by Becky Higgins utilizing page protectors of various size pocket combinations in which to place pictures you take and any journaling about the pictures. Most of the people doing this had a very set way of going about it. I immediately took off in my own direction, including quotes and pictures pulled off Pinterest as well as my own pictures of daily activity. I loved the visual combination of the various elements coming together to record day-to-day happenings: loved ones, dreams, thoughts, books read, garden updates, what I’m cooking even or raking leaves. Bits and pieces of everything that I enjoy come to inhabit my albums.

    Project Life has become my nest, usually only seen by myself and loved ones as I generally don’t want to put pictures on public view. It has been very personal and private and fulfilling, even as it inspires me to more creativity, more projects and more enjoyment in my life.

    • When talking about containing memories and working with Descansos I will make sure to refer to this project Thalia. Thank you for sharing! Stimulus like this flames the desire to forage and learn more and more.

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