Neil Hester

All poems © Neil Hester unless otherwritten

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Location: North Carolina, United States

Monday, April 07, 2008

The Gold of Memories

Sometime last year, I had to do a practice TAKS (Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills) test. For the writing portion of the test, students are required to write an essay based on a prompt. These prompts are notorious for being dull and uninspiring. The gist of the prompt I had to write toward for this practice test was something like this:

"Write about how a place can be special to a person."

Ugh. Are you serious? That's either a subject for a few lines or an entire psychology book; not 1-2 pages. Of course, they have to make these prompts very simple and open so that even the most backwards student can write for it and stand a chance of passing (I don't say this to be mean, it's just the truth). They didn't always have an essay in the test, and they need to get rid of it; a state-issued test intended for the entire student body doesn't need to include something difficult and subjective like an essay. Anyhow, I decided that I might as well have a little fun since I had to write something, so I wrote this:

LAEvaside: If you, by chance, skipped the last couple paragraphs, this is not a serious essay. It's a *joke* (though I did actually turn it in and everything). [/laevaside]

~~~

The Gold of Memories

       Most places – the doctor’s waiting room, the downtown police department, the deli down the street – do nothing more than serve their purpose, accommodate who and what they are meant to accommodate. For every person, however, there are places that do more than that; there are places that serve as vessels for memories or emotions, giant time capsules that open at every visit, every stay. They contain people and events no longer present and offer that one special person a chance to break back into the past and relive better times.
       Those special people in our lives, those remarkable individuals that mark us with a fire that leaves us no chance of forgetting them – some of them remain with us, while others conclude their stay, either by the road or by the grave. For those who leave, we dedicate a portion of our hearts; however, memories grow weary and fade as time distances the present and the past. To visit a place where a memory resides is to rekindle a decaying time and give it life; a normal site becomes an array of paints at the right person’s visit, a flurry of colors on the canvas of the mind that brings new ardour and vibrance to a fading portrait of a past face, a past friend. The wonder of such a place is like no other, a wonder personal and unshared with others, who may cast weary eyes upon that magnificent site and remain weary, unchanged by the glory known only by one.
       "We do not remember days; we remember moments." Specific events, even moreso than people, reside in tiny crevices of the world, unbeknownst to all but their creators. These unique happenings are encapsuled in the mind; however, as the years increase, the clarity of memory decreases, and questions fester like sores: "Did she smile? Did she laugh?" "Were the flowers blue or gold?" And yet, at a simple visit to the site, a torrent of answers charms the mind and the spirit is freed from its blistering wounds, like a leper at the holy touch. Certainly, all others will arrive at the place and leave unaffected, but for the one who knows its secret, its value is immeasurable.
       The grand people and events of the past remain in ghostly fragments where they once resided, enriching these places, lacing them with untouchable gold. Yet, unlike the fickle gold of leprechauns that resides at the ends of impossibly distant rainbows, the gold of memories is true and invaluable to those who are able to harvest it, and its vast mines are well within reach, whether they are oceans distant, miles away, or right around the corner.

~~~~~~~

I have nothing to add to that.

Oh, by the way- I added a new section to my sidebar, for links that aren't related to art. Some of the webcomics I added are delightfully clever (thanks to Jeff S. for directing me to xkcd and Dinosaur Comics). Finally, it's April. It's a shame I missed April Fools'- I didn't even realize what day it was until it was almost over. Anthony and Jess both did April Fools' posts.

I hope you are all well- take care 'til next time,

~Neil

4 Comments:

Blogger thomasdulin said...

wow. that leprechaun comparison came out of nowhere. or, should i say, from the origins of a distant rainbow...

props. :]

although, you might want to abstain from fantasy on your AP essay. haha

7:57 PM  
Blogger Neil said...

Hey, as long as the AP test has decent prompts, I'll write decent essays ~_^ But yeah, I'll be sure to write something better for AP/SAT =p

11:50 PM  
Blogger Jessica Schneider said...

That question was so bland and uninspiring that I don't think I could have come up with a thing to say.

8:17 AM  
Blogger Neil said...

Yeah, it's ridiculous. Starting a TAKS essay is quite a challenge (of course, as long as your essay is grammatically sound and at least somewhat answers the prompt, you pass, so no biggie).

10:35 PM  

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