Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Scent of Mnemosyne

I do not remember how many times I have been sitting in the dinning room for the same reasons. But still I wait for it like something new is going to happen and it does. Always new feelings surround her, a look of longing in her eyes sometimes of happiness, sometimes of sadness. It always depends on what’s on her hand. She comes from the living room walking fast with a black gift box on her hand. She has always kept them there. Nothing fancy for she is not that way. Simplicity is the word that describes her better. Loving is the word deserved to be said about her every time someone speaks of her.

In that box she keeps the memories of the family alive. The treasure of many decades kept in a fragile box that means so much to us as a family. She sat in the chair in front of me and removed the top box to reveal a world of photos, old a new, which have made their way to that enchanted place of memories. It looks like a sea of memories, of past events frozen in a moment cherish by those who lay they’re eyes on them. I have discovered for the first time drops from the stream of Mnemosyne.

But this time there was something different with her, the woman sitting in front of me. I love this woman dearly; she is the matriarch of the family, my grandmother. Her skin is as the color of sweet delicious chocolate and her heart is fool of feelings that are beyond words. She is not the same today and is not because of her age or her many illnesses but because of her scent. It is Mnemosyne’s sent, a sweet scent of water and lilys. She is within her today letting me know that my grandmother is one of her chosen ones. No wonder my grandma’s name is Pastora witch means The Shepherdess. She is the one to guard us, the one that protect us like she has always does. She might look fragile but she is not. Her name tells of her strength and courage. Her box of pictures tells her story, our story, my story, the story of my daughter.

Pastora took one of the pictures in her aged hands and smiled. It was one of her youth. It was black and white and she was sitting in the ledge of a window. She had a long white skirt and a black blouse. Her long black wavy hair was tossed on her left shoulder. She looked just like a model does when posing for the camera. If you look at her you can still see in her eyes that moment for she has, still, the same look in her deep black eyes.

Another picture she took after handing me hers. It was of my grandfather squatting with his back on a wall. My mother was at his right and my uncle on his left both little children looking straight at the camera. My grandfather was looking else where like his gaze was looking beyond that moment. In those days they lived in Old San Juan a beautiful small city filled with history, with cobblestones on the streets and barricaded by a wall build by the Spaniards. The same place my mother wishes to spend her last days remembering her childhood like the one in the picture.

They are so many memories of lost souls that have gone to their Creator and are mourned, of living souls that still struggle with everyday life, of souls that are happy and those souls that are lost in the meaning of life. It is so overwhelming to plunge oneself in a stream like this one full of so many feelings. I do not have the knowledge to swim but I feel like I was always thought how to flow in this stream since I was a child. For I have been in it since I can remember. Mnemosyne has thought me how to swim, how to survive in the sea of memories from which I have taken part and made my own. Yes, for if you visit my closet you will see a small brown shoe box. In it there is part of that sea, because I have been chosen to be the new Shepherdess. My name is Alexandra it means the Leader of Men. I am in training to become one of the keepers of memory in my family and I have started with a simple box and a digital CD prepared, for people like me, by the magical land called Kodak.

The world of memories is full of grace and feelings. It is a magical place that resides in the simple things guarded by a mortal and escaping from wrath of time.


At 11:50 PM, Blogger Believer said...

Hello Alexandra,

What a beautiful piece. You are a wonderful memory keeper and a true daughter of Mnemosyne.

Welcome back--I'm glad you and your daughter are feeling better.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Edwina Peterson Cross said...

This is so lovely Alexandra, beautifully written - so descriptive, with so much love and pride behind it. The basic premis - the scent of Mnemosyne - brought a smile to my lips, for my Grandmother always smelled of rosewater and glycerine! ~Winnie

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Alexandra said...

Thank you girls! When I was reading the story to myself I could not finish 'cause I started crying. My grandfather was the love of my life and my grandma has taking his place. I can't see my life with out her. I know it will happen but... I can. She tought me to read, to go potty, basic math, to dream, to be real. She still teaching me. Even on how to be a mother! I'm very thankful I have her, very thankful.

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Heather Blakey said...

Hi Alexandra
I also really enjoyed reading this piece. It is touching to see what can be pulled from a simple black box. And I particularly loved seeing a photo of your grandmother. Wonderful. When I have some time to spare I will add this piece to the collection in Grandma Cooks.


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