I remember

One of the many thought-provoking exercises that Dani Shapiro gave us while at Kripalu was to write for 10 minutes, without stopping, sentences that begin with “I remember.” This was inspired by Joe Brainerd’s classic memoir, I RememberLisa, Denise, Christine, Sarah, and I all found this both fun and surprising – we discovered that we wrote down both long-cherished memories and ones we had not even realized we remembered.

We think this is a powerful and revealing exercise, and wanted to share a few of our “I remembers” as well as invite you to participate.  Please join us!  either by writing a post on your blog about what you remember and linking it here.   Or, by adding a few of your I remembers to our comments.  I look forward to reading your memories.

I remember …

I remember the wire hanger that my mother bent into a hoop over my head for my Pippi Longstocking braids one Halloween.  I remember how it dug into my head.

I remember watching my mother peel carrots into our guinea pig, Caliban’s cage.  I remember that Dad told us Caliban meant “sprite.”  I remember reading The Tempest in high school and learning what it really meant.

I remember going to the bathroom from 6th grade homeroom and the school secretary telling me to tell my class that the Challenger had exploded.

I remember how my husband wept when our midwife turned over our brand-new second child and said he was a boy.

I remember skinny dipping off the pier at our old summer house.  In August there was phosphorescence.

I remember the morning that my father called me to tell me that my grandmother had died.  I remember that her mother’s day card, stamped and addressed, was sitting on the table by the door to be mailed.

I remember hallucinating and asking Matt if he could see the reindeer I saw as we approached the summit of Kilimanjaro in a white-out ice storm.

19 thoughts on “I remember”

  1. I just love this! I’ve done a similar practice – “i am aware…”, in my Year of Living Mindfully program.

    Very cool and generous of all of you to share it. I’ll post mine late tomorrow – have my first guest post tonight!


  2. What a wonderful exercise! This dates me, but I was a freshman in college when I saw the Challenger explode, and I’ll never forget it…

    Thanks for sharing this. I feel like I got a snippet of your experience…xo

  3. Husbands weeping at the birth of a child definitely take the cake. Although hallucinating reindeer is pretty extraordinary.

    I adore this exercise and am going to REMEMBER it when I get stuck. Which, as we know, is a little too often.


  4. I remember wearing a black sparkly dress and standing out on a stone patio overlooking the slope of a green lawn; there were dogwoods and thick, apple-blossom air. I was holding a drink, perhaps not my first, and there were a half-dozen young woman surrounding me laughing in similarly short dresses and I felt perfect. Now I know that what I felt was Youth and utter naivety, as music floated out from the party taking place in the yellow light behind us.

  5. I love this whole idea and reading everyone’s memories has been beautiful. And now I will remember being a dope and adding my name twice in the Linky Tool. Sigh.

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