William J. (Skip) Henderson Jr.

Existential Memory - Poem by William J. (Skip) Henderson Jr.

Are we, as eternal souls, like a pasture with a stream that runs through it?
Collecting the silt and nourishment from the upper banks of its headwaters
Or are we as the stream that runs through many pastures
To become part of an ocean capturing the puddles of our memories
That binds us to everywhere and all we have been.

In life are we that which emulates the stream, the pasture or arboreal forest
Where rain and mulch become nourishment for the web of life that resides there?
Or perhaps the desert with its meager supply of water that supports a plethora
Of inhabitants that exist no place other.

What binds us to life if not the memories of our existence?
Memories are the substance of what we are whether horrendous or placid.
In later years our memories become a source of knowledge and understanding.
The lessons that become the parables for teaching our young.

Our physical being is a repository of the memories that are made up from our existence
It is the eternal soul which retains them
With access through our consciousness in this lifetime
Our memories belonging to our eternal soul are the only thing that passes with us.

In life, our existence is dealt out with vastly different experiences
From loveless to loving, good to bad, ugly to beautiful and pious to profane.
A collection of memories in this existence becomes only a sentence in the book of life
And leaves no footprint on the beach of eternity.

Of all we have learned in this life, are these lessons learned if not filed in our memory?
If these lessons are in our memory, are they learned?
Our memories are there for us to draw upon during life’s journey
To give us perspective of the learning we have accomplished.
We can only describe that which we learned and accomplished
So we may teach what we have learned, from a memory.

Skip Henderson
revised 12/09

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Poem Submitted: Monday, July 23, 2007

Poem Edited: Wednesday, March 23, 2011

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