In a certain novel of fantasy, a certain author of reputation develops the idea of an object that she calls a pensieve, which is basically a bowl that holds memories. When a person’s brain gets too full, or when a particular memory is too intense to keep in a character’s head, the memory can be stored in the pensieve. Any person can dive headfirst into the pensieve, where they can stand in the memory as an invisible observer and watch the events play out. Remember this concept.

I’ve been reflecting lately on friendship and memories. Now, I love my friends, and I have several dear friends that I have made since moving to Waco. My life would be very sad and incomplete without them. But there is something special and unique about friends that I have from past phases of my life. In a way, reminiscing with old friends (this includes sisters and family members) makes my memories come back alive. The Counting Crows sing that “memories are films about ghosts,” and there is something to that. When I’m by myself, my memories are only as good as my own perspective. But when I am sharing memories with friends, it is as if those ghosts from the past come out of murky shadows and become flesh and blood once again. It’s like friends are pensieves for one another, and when we dive headlong into our memories together, we can watch them in living color.

I have recently been reunited with a friend from my college days. I’ve been struggling with residual baggage from certain events from those years, and I have had a hard time fully dealing with my emotions and my faulty memories. Because I had lost touch with the friends that I was close to during that time, I felt disconnected from the very past that I needed to deal with. It has been a timely blessing to be back in touch with this friend who was close not only to me, but to the situation with which I had been wrestling. Today we sat over coffee and reminisced, and the conversation was cathartic. This friend was my pensieve; going back over past events together helped me to see my own memories in a new light.

Stephen and I are going through a time of tough transition now, and I am grateful for our good friends who are standing with us. They’re giving us strength and encouragement right now, and one day when our lives have smoothed out, they’ll be holding our stories of God’s faithfulness. Any time we need them, those memories will be just a conversation away.

3 responses to “Pensive

  1. Thanks for putting into words what most of us probably feel about our past. That’s a really neat way to think about visiting with old friends – ghosts that come alive. Everyone’s memory of the same event will always be different. It’s nice to have conversations with old friends that bring everyone’s memories together to re-create the time or event and you get a chance to re-live it for a brief moment.

  2. Wow, that was a deep thought. On the encouragement side…Sometimes I think God has us take one step back, before taking two steps forward. This way we are constantly reminded to be thankful for all of the blessings He has allowed us to have.

    On a lighter note, I hope our ghosts can co-mingle without reminding us of the clothes we used to wear…

  3. Yeah, some of those memories are better left in the murky shadows.

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