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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 6 (September 2, 1935)

“I Remember.”

“I Remember.”

Memories, because they are milestones on the path of personal progress, pleasant revivals of purple patches from the past, or object lessons in what to do, and what not to do, in the present and future.

Memories are not necessarily the prerogative of Old-age mumbling in the inglenook, nor are they the secret vice of “dreamers.” They are little lessons in life to be turned up for reference when occasion demands. And so I am one of those who say:

Let's shake the coloured prisms of the past,

Whose colours grow more vivid with the years—

Kaleidoscopic patterns changing fast, Old hopes, ambitions, loves and hates and fears;

All there! Vignetted memories, brightly tinted,

Provided one retains the power to capture

The things that passing Time has never stinted—

page 61

The darting shafts of Memory's pain and rapture;

Impressions coloured yellow, red or blue,

Or multi-coloured like a rainbow's sash,

Or monotone, with no relieving hue, Or recollection like a crimson splash Upon the spattered palette of the mind—

For every recollection has its dye—Unless, of course, one draws a mental blind,

Or wears a patch upon one's inmost eye.

Memories are an entertainment, a moving picturegraph on the silver sheet of one's mentality. You press the button on your mental picture projector (if you are so constituted) and the reel of retrospect slips smoothly past the lens. The result may not be as hectic as the Harlow, it may not grip like the Gable, or have the “hypo” of Hollywood, but, as your own personal property, it is the most moving “movie” of them all — and it doesn't cost a thing.

Sitting here I press the button and shoot a “short,” willy-nilly and at random, releasing a reel that makes itself as it goes. Here's what I see without conscious effort:

Horses racing on a hard beach; thudding hoofs, sand thrown into the eyes and mouth. Waving tails, undulating backs wet with sweat, flying manes, a sense of being catapulted through the air, and a heart thudding to the tune of the hoofs' tattoo.

A prison gate with its little grid, like a bird cage on a monastery wall. A click, and a face appears; scrutiny, explanation and a shooting of bolts. A long yard painfully tidy, a row of barred windows and the words streaming through the mind. “Abandon hope all ye who enter here.” (I hasten to explain that I was a visitor, not a boarder).

A stripling willow against the setting sun, on a promontory in Lake Rotorua—like a silhouette on a Japanese fan.

“Land of Hope and Glory”

Land of Hope and Glory

“A vacuum cleaner can even mop up a pair of pants.”

“A vacuum cleaner can even mop up a pair of pants.”

A doctor snipping the catch of his brown bag at a bedside.

A rabbit washing its whiskers among young grass.

My grandfather lighting his cherry-wood pipe.

A little girl sweeping leaves from a gate.

A log across a black pool.

An aproned woman waving to a train from the door of an unpainted shack.

Green and red lights reflected in the harbour.

Impressions! A packet of snapshots of no intrinsic value except as an illustration of my meaning; but each impression is impregnated with the colour of its surrounding circumstance.