Why we write memoirs
It’s not just that I want you to hear my memories. We’ve all had that experience when we were young, that boredom as the old ones tell us the same stories for the hundredth time. I felt it with my father. At some point you will cross the tipping point, where you will realize one day you are actually interested in the old stories. You may be decades from that moment. That’s ok.
It’s not exactly a need to transmit memories. It’s not a cognitive or didactic task the old one feels, though most of them interpret it that way. No; I don’t want to teach you any lessons from my childhood; there are none. I don’t want you to appreciate how much easier you have things than I did, or my father did. That’s actually seldom true; most people have great struggles. You are, you will.
It’s not dying memories, it’s a dying vision. When I slow the car down on Miller’s Fork road to peer back under the sumac, I really do see less than my father saw.