Recently I have been receiving a blog involving historical events. Each event has an appended quiz regarding happenings in the past. Obviously, the author of the blog is a younger historian. Almost all of the events he presents occurred in the past century. Surprisingly, I have personally lived through many of the eras the historian discussed. I’ve discovered that when I have personally experienced events they assume a different quality from the same events written in a history book. The latter events may be more accurate but most often more dry. Having actually experienced an event evokes a mental imagery that written historical accounts lack. Reading about Venice can never substitute for memories of sitting alongside the Grand Canal, sipping a glass of wine, or visiting Saint Marks cathedral. Each time the movies or television portray scenes of places that I have personally visited my inner eye activates. On a feeling level I am actually transported there. Recently we have been introducing the grandchildren to different countries in Europe through a television series on travel. Most of the countries featured I have visited. When viewing programs of countries I have not visited my emotional reactions are quite different. Wordsworth described how, in memory, he dances with the daffodils. Perhaps this is one of the true joys provided by reminiscences in the aged.

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One Response to CONTEXT

  1. Tyler says:

    My introduction to foreign travel came from childhood trips to Disneyland. Whether I’m hiking in the Alps, on a safari in Zambia, passing a camel in Morocco, or eating pickled herring in Norway, I’m always struck by the feeling that I have been here before.

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