4.21.2020 – my heart’s memory

my heart’s memory,
to endure, magnifies good
eliminates bad

Adapted from, “He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.” from Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez.

It called to mind this letter written in 1880 by Confederate Veteran, Sergeant Berry Benson of Georgia.

He wrote, “In time, even death itself might be abolished; who knows but it may be given to us after this life to meet again in the old quarters, to play chess and draughts, to get up soon to answer the morning role call, to fall in at the tap of the drum for drill and dress parade, and again to hastily don our war gear while the monotonous patter of the long roll summons to battle.

Who knows but again the old flags, ragged and torn, snapping in the wind, may face each other and flutter, pursuing and pursued, while the cries of victory fill a summer day?

And after the battle, then the slain and wounded will arise, and all will meet together under the two flags, all sound and well, and there will be talking and laughter and cheers, and all will say, Did it not seem real?

Was it not as in the old days?

Was it not as in the old days?

I did not fight my way through the Civil War they way Sergeant Benson did (and he had quite the adventure and ended up the model for the Civil War Monument in downtown Augusta, Georgia) but I am sure that is NOT as it was in the old days.

Magnify the good.

Eliminate the bad.

Endure.

I am also reminded of a story told by the George Plimpton in the book Mad Ducks and Bears, his sequel to Paper Lion.

Mr. Plimpton described Alex Karras tellng a story about how Karras had got back at Bobby Layne for the years of hazing Karras endured when Layne was quarterback for the Detroit Lions.

Later in the book, Mr. Plimpton ran into Bobby Layne and Plimpton asked Layne about the details of the Karras story.

Layne listened and shook his head.

“Never happened,” said Layne.

Plimpton wrote that Layne looked down for a second then looked back up, caught Plimpton right in the eye with his look,

He grinned.

“Besides, why would I want to remember anything like that for anyway?”

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