Encyclopedia Me

This is me. The littlest one. Just home from the hospital. I was probably less than a week old. I’d guess. I don’t remember being in the photo. There was Dad, steadying the camera, and telling the four of us to smile. And there I was. Taking part in this non-memory of mine.

We have a lot of those. Non-memories. Those times where we acted and performed, exactly as humans are supposed to. We had thousands of thoughts, and facial expressions, Gestures. Actions. But. We have absolutely no recollection of being there.

Being there. With all our facilities operating perfectly. Yet, we would only remember that earth-interaction, for a very short time, depending on the age and ability of our brains.

Humans. We are truly incredible, but extremely limited.

As I look at the photo now, I remember a LOT. But not from being there.  I see my three dear siblings. Julie, holding me. Ed on my left, and Jerry to my right. Ed looks substantially cleaner and more put together than Jerry. For good reason. I imagine Ed was prompt too, as indicated by the smart little watch on his wrist. The boys have on matching tube socks. Mom surely bought them on sale at the Gold Circle, eight pairs to a pack. All of us were shoeless. Mostly we took off our footwear when we came indoors, and put them on the steps heading to the second floor.

I remember that lamp on the table. It was kind of a white-alabaster sort of thing, that picked up fingerprints like a crime scene investigator. The bookcase on the other side (which was dark green for a lot of years) is filled with our Encyclopedia Set. The information did not change back then. Not like it does today. We used that same set of encyclopedias from the oldest kid down to the youngest. Scads of school reports flowed from that set. We would not find out until years later all the other tidbits that are belched out on the internet today. Those million other facts. But there was quite enough contained in those encyclopedias, for paper-writing. None of which I remember.

Back to the photo.  It looks like Julie cut her own bangs that week. Probably in Mom’s absence, as I was being birthed. And, all appears quite on the home front. Not much activity across the street at Mr. & Mrs. Kohler’s house, or Miss Keyes’ house, for that matter.

That’s one thing I love about photographs. Just like that, we are magically transported to another place, in another time. The smoothest version of Time Travel that we humans have now. At least, until we can figure out Einstein’s explanation of the big loops in the Universe. Folding over one another. Like now, only bigger.

And certainly, we cannot control time. It ticks forward, as we know it now. Some of it we will remember, and some we will not. Depending on our age, and the capabilities of our brains. As mentioned. Or in some cases, how much we have had to drink.

Nonetheless, here we are. Making Memories. Each minute.
There is a quote I read this morning, from Charles Kingsley. It goes. “Never lie down at night without being able to say: I have made one human being, at least, a little wiser, a little happier, or a little better this day.”

Today perhaps, we should make a memory for someone which will last.


“Nothing is ever really lost to us as long as we remember it.”
― L.M. Montgomery, The Story Girl


“To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.”
― Thomas Campbell


“A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered.”
― C.S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet