I Can’t Remember

First, the song, “I Can’t Remember” by Bill Mallonee

we were thrown into a snowbank
into this screaming night
i heard the splintering of bones
i heard the cries of pain and fright
we had laughed and shared a kiss
mingled there our lives honey
doing ninety miles an hour
when our train hit the ice

now i can’t remember
what was i so excited about
i can’t remember
why all the fuss and shout
i can’t remember
ah watch the ember going out

we were joking about the club car’s
noticeable bad taste
the food was barely edible
and the opulence and waste were simply astounding
the passengers spent hours dismissing
rumors of their demise
and it’s true a little make-up
can make a corpse look fine

but i can’t remember
i’ve been this way since birth
i can’t remember
who gives a rat’s ass who is first
i can’t remember
ah what is any of it worth

i caught sight of a body
in a coat that looked like yours
and i called out your name darling
but i guess you never heard me
instinctively i reached out
and i pulled you near to me
sometimes God’s grace won’t let you look upon
what you can’t bear to see

but i can’t remember
all the idols on parade
i can’t remember
buy low sell high trade away
i can’t remember
ah watch the embers die away

i saw Jesus in the air
now there’s a face that you can’t miss
i saw Him brush away the snowflakes
and bestow on you a kiss
He gathered you up in His arms
God you looked so fine
that white dress you were wearing darling
like a billion stars did shine

from Killing Floor, released 04 July 1992

Written by Bill Mallonee for Irving Music, Inc., Allegiance Music, Russachugama Music and CyBrenJoJosh (BMI) ©1990, 1992

Now, my point.  Memory is integral to humanity.  Without it, we are lost.  Thus I get to the conclusion rather quickly that if education is the pursuit of being more fully human (and it is), and memory is necessary to being fully human (and it is), then, Memory is key to education.

Let me give another quote and then some additional thoughts can follow:

“Our soul, which is proven to be immortal by Socrates in the Phaedo, comes from a position of complete knowledge prior to being born into the body.  Re-membering – the point of education – literally means putting the separate members back into a wholeness.  The goal of studying these subjects (the Quadrivium) was to climb back (up) to Unity through simplification based on the understanding gained by engaging in each area of the Quadrivium.  The goal lay in finding their source (traditionally this was the sole purpose of the search for knowledge).” Pp. 3-4,  Quadrivium: The Four Classical Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music, & Cosmology, Walker & Company, New York. 2010.

Is there a truth contained here that memory serves in part to bring unity or wholeness?  To remember is to re-member ourselves?  Reality exists, and education is the discovery of the truth, goodness, and beauty found in that created reality and then “fitting” ourselves to that creational whole.  How is this possible if we cannot retain or remember the parts we already have assembled?

If memory is a skill, and it is, then what are the steps or exercises by which we develop this skill?  There is a ton of literature on this and I am finding myself working through a lot of it to determine both a practice and an apology.  I want to develop memory in my students and myself, and I must form an apology for this desire as it is quite against the standard word in education today.  I mean, after all, they have google and stuff to find things.  Why remember anything?


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