Last weekend a few wonderful writers (Lindsey, Denise & Lisa to name three) whose blogs I love attended a magical retreat on memoir writing by the oh-so-talented Dani Shapiro. One of the exercises they were given, inspired by Joe Brainerd’s memoir, I Remember, was to write for 10 minutes, started every sentence with I remember.
If you click the links above, you will read some of what they wrote in that 10 minutes. They invited all of us to join them. Here is part of what I wrote. Please join in and add your I remembers to the comments or leave a link to your blog post.
I remember my mother’s 40th birthday party, the people laughing, the cake with the chocolate curls.
I remember the bus trip into Toronto the day my beloved Maggie died and I knew my childhood was over.
I remember falling in love with my first boyfriend in a dream and waking up to know it was true.
I remember the long-distance love, the first horrible hangover, the move across the country. I remember the flowers in winter, outside our first apartment. I remember falling out of love – or at least thinking I had. I remember being afraid to be fully me.
I remember the man who worked the cafeteria with the liquid gold eyes.
I remember never being the right one for the ones I thought were right.
I remember my crush on the teacher and the day we drew portraits of each other and I was the only one he missed.
I remember the feel of the studio space, the magical light and the way the toilets never flushed.
I remember getting the job, rearranging my life, packing the car and starting the journey of a lifetime.
I remember the river, the town, the way Lynn held Tracy’s hand and how it all made sense years later when I found out they were sleeping together.
I remember being young and foolish.
I remember the northern lights and the crunch of the snow in the quiet darkness.
I remember my grandmother’s face – but only because I can see my favorite picture of her clearly in my mind’s eye.
I remember the first miscarriage, the decorated Easter egg and the hike up the mountain to say goodbye.
I remember the words, It’s a girl. I remember the joy.
I remember the phone call on Mother’s Day, 2009 and thinking I was hearing the words, Jamie died. I remember helping her mother pack up her book collection. I remember the look in her mother’s eyes.
I remember hoping I would never lose a child.