Remember the here and now

Remember the here and now

This lovely poem by Kevin Crossley-Holland recalls a first moment of mindfulness, of zooming in on a moment with the aim of remembering.  I do this from time to time, during precious moments: slow it down, stop and savour it consciously.  Such a moment came...
Past into future

Past into future

I love images of bringing the past, at least in its positive manifestations, into the present and future. Nicolson provides us with a couple of fine similes, and I particularly like his earth-digging, tilth-making metaphor.  But here now, maybe, there was something...
Name what you love

Name what you love

Love what you name.  I am moved by people’s attachment to place, to the specifics of a place or landscape, and this is often reflected in the names they give, whether to the place itself, or to its features or flora and fauna – the detailed knowledge that...
A grandfather’s love

A grandfather’s love

The Hungarian poet Faludy gives an enticing description of his grandfather, seen through a boy’s eyes.  I like how he pitches his speech appropriately for a child, consciously or not.  Also the idea that his words sunk into the young mind, and were understood...
Now, at last

Now, at last

The Hungarian poet György Faludy had a full dose of adventure in his long life. On the eve of the Second World War he opted to leave his native country rather than get caught up fighting for Hitler.  Spending time in France and Morocco before reaching the US and...
The timelessness of Troy

The timelessness of Troy

Golding took thirty years to complete his own odyssey from Troy to Ithaka, with war and other events intervening between his first attempt, in which he passed a few miles shy of Ithaka, and the second successful venture in the early 1950s.  Here he captures the...
The inner instinct of memory

The inner instinct of memory

A surprising interpretation of remembering and forgetting by Stefan Zweig, attributing them to an instinctive filter choosing or discarding what sticks in the memory.  It’s particularly touching because the book which features this idea was a huge act of...
Of place and memory

Of place and memory

I had never realised that this is perhaps an article of faith with me until I read of Nicolson’s belief in place as a repository of memory.  I remember stepping into a house beautiful in its architecture, position, layout and furnishings, but so steeped in...
Dancing summer days

Dancing summer days

They are still with us, although we’re far from that beautifully named, white-spumed ‘maned Aegean’.  Eke them out, enjoy each and every one and then bask through the winter months in recollection of them…. memories of this pure sunlight, these...
Of memory and vivid moments

Of memory and vivid moments

I like Esterly’s skillful account of how the vividness of moments scrambles the natural order of past and present in our memories. Vividness can bring the past to the fore and make the present appear like a long-cherished memory even as it happens.This happens...
Just visiting

Just visiting

In 1946 John Steinbeck, with his friend the photographer Robert Capa, spent a month in the Soviet Union, including the war-ravaged city of Stalingrad. Here Steinbeck describes a touching encounter with a little boy for whom the memory of his lost father was clearly...
Summer radiance whatever the weather

Summer radiance whatever the weather

Having sent a new year card to a friend, I learned from her partner that she passed away last year. He sent me his in memoriam with a rich array of photos. Exactly as I remembered her, vivacious and luminous, beautiful and strong. The line quoted here seemed a...
Many legended-island

Many legended-island

Are those legends still alive or did they die with the war, or with the people who told them?  And what if we made our own mental – or real – ‘many-legended island’ to walk in? Or created legends for the real world? If you have a memory or idea...
Young and younger

Young and younger

A wonderful, playful evocation of youth remembered, in heaps and piles, years, decades and even centuries later. But keep in mind one definition of age; that of ‘accumulated youth’. There, don’t you feel younger already? ‘I was very young in...
Of youth and memory

Of youth and memory

Memory is a key theme of nuannaarpoq.com, as somehow it came to the surface as a principal element of a life well lived when I was considering what to highlight. Here Mark Twain embellishes the concept with his usual wit and verve.’When I was younger I could...
To the bar and back

To the bar and back

This wonderful anecdote by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer describes a beloved uncle who would take him to the bar for a drink. Before leaving, he would randomly select three of his eleven dogs to accompany them. This seems to have been perceived as a treat by...
An ageless conversation

An ageless conversation

This distinction between individual and collective dreams comes from the book that inspired nuannaarpoq.com. Both types can fuse into our future, making or breaking it in terms of whether it is bright, liveable or simply bleak. Arctic Dreams probes many of the issues...
Memory in triplicate

Memory in triplicate

I liked this pithy analysis by Vico, which could serve as an exercise in imagination training: take a memory, describe it as a realistically as you can, then alter or imitate it in some form, then give it a new turn by placing it in a relationship to other things....

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