The scent of Mnemosyne


           I do not remember how many times I have been sitting in the dinning room for the same reasons, but still I wait for it like something new is going to happen and it does.  Always new feelings surround her, a look of longing in her eyes sometimes of happiness, sometimes of sadness.  It always depends on what’s on her hand.  She comes from the living room walking fast with a black gift box on her hand.  She has always kept them there.  Nothing fancy for she is not that way.  Simplicity is the word that describes her better.  Loving is the word deserved to be said about her everytime someone speaks of her.

            In that box she keeps the memories of the family alive.  The treasure of many decades kept in a fragile box that means so much to us as a family.  She sat in the chair in front of me and removed the top box to reveal a world of photos, old and new, which have made their way to that enchanted place of memories.  It looks like a sea of memories, of past events frozen in a moment cherish by those who lay they’re eyes on them.  I have discovered for the first time drops from the stream of Mnemosyne.

            Mnemosyne was a goddess from the Greek era and she is the guardian of memories.  Some remember her strolling along her stream waiting for the immortals to come to her for she was the wisest of them all.  She has now disappeared into the invisible land of shadows and from there she guards her stream and watches over her new recruits.

            This time there was something different with the woman sitting in front of me.  I love this woman dearly; she is the matriarch of the family, my grandmother.  Her skin is the color of sweet delicious chocolate and her heart is fool of feelings that are beyond words.  She is not the same today and is not because of her age or her many illnesses, but because of her sent.  It is Mnemosyne’s sent, a sweet sent of water and lilies.  She is within her today letting me know that my grandmother is one of her chosen ones.  No wonder my grandma’s name is Pastora witch means The Shepherdess.  She is the one to guard us, the one that protect us like she has always done.  She might look fragile, but she is not.  Her name tells her strength and courage; her box of pictures tells her story, our story, my story, the story of my children.

            Pastora took one of the pictures in her aged hands and smiled, it was one of her youth.  It was black and white and she was sitting in the ledge of a window wearing a long white skirt and a black blouse; long black wavy hair tossed on her left shoulder.  She looked just like a model does when posing for the camera!  If you look at her you can still see in her eyes that moment for she has, still, the same look in her deep black eyes.

            Another picture she took after handing me hers.  It was of my grandfather squatting with his back on a wall.  My mother was at his right and my uncle on his left, both little children looking straight at the camera.  My grandfather was looking else where like his gaze was gazing beyond that moment.  In those days they lived in Old San Juan a beautiful small city filled with history, with cobblestones on the streets and barricaded by a wall build by the Spaniards.  The same place my mother wishes to spend her last days remembering her childhood like the one in the picture.     

            There are so many memories of lost souls that have gone to their Creator and are mourned, of living souls that still struggle with everyday life, of souls that are happy and those souls that are lost in the meaning of life. It is so overwhelming to plunge oneself in a stream like this one full of so many feelings.  I do not have the knowledge to swim, but I feel like I was always thought how to flow in this stream since I was a child for I’ve been in it since I can remember.  Mnemosyne has thought me how to swim, how to survive in the sea of memories from which I have taken part and made my own.  Yes, for if you visit my closet you will see a small brown shoe box.  In it there is part of that sea, because I have been chosen to be the new Shepherdess.  My name is Alexandra it means the Leader of Men, I am in training to become one of the keepers of memory in my family and I have started with a simple box and a digital CD prepared, for people like me, by the magical land called Digital Photography. 

            The world of memories is fool of grace and feelings.  It is a magical place that resides in the simple things guarded by a mortal and escaping from the wrath of time.

I wrote this many years ago, by that time she, Pastora, was still alive. Don’t despare I have taken all of her well guarded memories and kept them safe in an album and scaned them so they can out run the wit of time.



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2 thoughts on “The scent of Mnemosyne

  1. Alex, lo que has escrito sobre mami es muy bonito porque es muy cierto. Mami fue una mujer muy fuerte, la mejor defensora y protectora de nosotros y se que desde el cielo también seguira protegiendonos siempre.

    Esta foto me trae muchos recuerdos hermosos porque nuestra niñez en San Juan fue la mejor ya que nuestra crianza allí fue sana, pues todos nos conociamos, fuimos al mismo colegio “Colegio de Párvulos” en la Calle San Sebastian y fueron los mejores años de mi vida. Gracias por ser como eres, la niña de nuestros ojos.

    Tu Tía Madrina,

    Margarita Román

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