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Enduring memories

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been reading Madeleine Albright’s latest memoir, “Hell and Other Destinations” (see citation below). Madeleine was America’s first female Secretary of State (serving during the Clinton administration). That role ended when she was 63, but she’s continued her achievements in what she terms her “afterlife”.

I admire Madeleine’s enthusiasm and sense of purpose. Many words of wisdom embellish her writing – and some which especially resonated with me were about memory…that sanctuary to which we can all retreat at will.

For instance, Madeleine wrote…”Rickety though it may be, memory is the one railing we can hold onto in our unequal duel with time. Loved ones die, but their faces, words, favourite expressions, teachings, characteristic movements and the distinctive shape of their mouths when smiling remain with us – crisp for a while, then less so. Months pass, then years, and images fade, only to recover suddenly their sharpness when a sight or sound jogs our brains”.

So the memories of our loved ones are embedded within our souls, where they remain, as a source of comfort and guidance.

  • Madeleine Albright, 2020, “Hell and Other Destinations“, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, p. 241.

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