Seemingly random snippets of memory surface at odd moments, don’t they? Or is it just me?
The bass-baritone stylings of Ernest Jennings Ford define the Sunday afternoon TV of my childhood memory. I don’t remember what show he was on, but I do remember his deep, deep, resonant voice, and my introduction to the rapacious extremes of unfettered capitalism. Of any unfettered power, maybe.
Another day older and deeper in debt.
– 16 Tons; Tennessee Ernie Ford
Some days this past year felt like that: a slow but steady backsliding, in matters both emotional and practical. Diggin’ 16 tons as the song says — or shovelling water with a fork, as we say in our house.
At New Year’s I usually find myself looking ahead to the year to come: a year to be defined by what I will accomplish. This New Year’s, though, I find myself looking back at the year past: a year defined for me primarily by my mother’s death in June.
Memories of her still surprise me at random moments. Sometimes the memories are welcome, emphasizing the connection; sometimes they are rather less so, highlighting the loss.
What does that mean for the year that’s gone? I don’t know, but maybe a TV show I hardly ever watched offers a reasonable answer.
If you think back, and replay your year,
if it doesn’t bring you tears of joy or sadness,
consider the year wasted.
– John, Ally McBeal
And it’s kind of funny. Although her taste ran more to poetry and actual literature, Mom loved quotations, and loved to write about them. And just as I’m sure she never watched Ally McBeal, I’m sure she never considered any year wasted.