During our las couple of days in Bethel, I had a very interesting dream. In the dream I had just come back from a two week backpacking trip to Europe, but when asked to tell my family how it went, I had no recollection of what had happened. It didn’t matter how hard I tried to remember the places I had been to, my memory was blank. So my dad pulled out some receipts from his pocket and told me that they were receipts that he had collected from my spendings in Europe (I have no idea how he got these. Dreams are weird). Handing me the receipts he told me to try to figure out where I had been and done based on the things I had consumed.
I woke up frightened.
Will my memory fail me after I leave Alaska? Will I need some kind of proof that I was here? How can I be more mindful of what is happening around me so that I can better remember it once I’m gone?
I immediately went to the Church, sat on one of the back pews and meditated for 20 minutes. I went back in time, trying to remember the events of our days here, and as expected, I could not remember all of them.
Today I write this blog in a spirit of renewed memory, a payer of contemplation and remembrance.
I pray to remember,
Luther’s smile as we play cards at the elder’s home.
The cool breeze on my face while riding a boat down the Kuskokwim.
Jordan’s excitement when we pulled over and she yelled out: “They’re here! They’re here!”
Cecilia’s hospitality and patience.
Arvin’s sense of humor and Connie’s hospitality.
Our walk on the tundra with Chris and Erin.
Late night walks around the city with the whole group.
Two nights of sitting on the tundra and watching the sunset.
Stan’s fish camp.
Endless games of BS and Bananagrams.
My experience at the Orthodox Church.
JJ’s smile and cool stories.
And so many other memories that need to be dusted off at some point.
But I do have receipts, just like in my dream. We’ve been going through a lot of footage this week, trying to put sequences together, trimming interviews, writing a script and so on. Watching these clip aid my memory and they will also be our testimony for other people to understand what we experienced in Bethel.