I watched an old movie the other night, something I seldom do. The movie was “The Way We Were” and what I found most interesting was the mini documentary that went along with the movie. The most part that interested me most was the discussion of finding the right song. They needed a song that would transport the viewer back to memories.
The composer chosen for the job was Marvin Hamlisch and the wordsmiths… the Bergman’s. They describe in the documentary their work to craft the perfect “vehicle” to set the mood. They said the title, “The Way We Were” was wonderful all in itself, but that they had the first line originally “daydreams light the corners of my mind”. When they presented the song to Barbra Streisand she changed… one note and one word, a word that became the most important change … the word daydreams to “Memories”.
The song won the 1973 Academy Award for best song in a movie, a Golden Globe and became one of the songs of the century! To this day I am sure many of us enter a little piece of reverie as we listen to it… since memories are a haunting part of our life; they are something that comes back to us …sometimes good, sometimes bad…sometimes happy…sometimes sad.
My memories seem to start in the Spring, which is supposed to be a new beginning, a time of rebirth when the earth wakes from the sleep of winter. The sap has started to run and the great giants on the hill have started to sprout buds that will soon bring leaves that will last until fall’s last call. Added to this are my memories of the many summer days spent by the lake, by the glimmering water, with the brush of soft sand against my feet when I walked the shore dreaming of the future. Never expecting it to be where I am today.
Spring for me brings both my best memories and my saddest memoires.
My best are the many childhood weekends around Easter… since most members of my family shared April time birthdays. Grandmother, grandfather, aunts, uncles, mom, dad, myself… these birthdays all turned into weekend parties, one after another. Parties where everyone got together and cousins played at life. Easter meant seeing some cousins from a long distance that came to the city to visit Grandma. These were fun times to be sure.
Then things changed and I moved to the country where – ironically - all of the new neighbors shared April birthdays and the parties began again.
Those times and people have all passed as well… and I am left here with only memories of them. Lingering sad memories… as death end life. In the past some of my best friends died on the three days around my birthday… and their memories though certainly fond ones, are wonderful… but they are sad. They leave me with a feeling of being alone…. like sad memories all of my family who are no longer here.
The wise man said that you can never go back… you can only go forward. And so we must… we can only relive that past as “Memories” that light the corners of our mind.