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 Remember. Lisa, 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.