Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Place and Memory Essay Example for Free

Place and Memory Essay Perhaps the strongest case for memory is made in the context of the places we occupy. It is not easy to forget what happens in our lives with reference to the space we occupy. In other words, we remember our experiences, especially the most important ones, with reference to the places we occupied at the time of those experiences. Elizabeth Liebert (2004) has written: â€Å"Novelist Barbara Kingsolver loves the places where she writes. She observes: ‘Whether we are leaving it or coming into it, its here that matters, it is place. Our greatest and smallest explanations of ourselves grow from place, as surely as carrots grow in the dirt. ’† According to the author, we learn about ourselves with references to the memories we have about certain places. If I happen to find something I dislike or disagree with in a particular place, for instance, I will be reminded of my sure likes and dislikes whenever I hark back to my specific experience of disliking or disagreeing with something in that particular place. In fact, I had an important experience in Aruba that would explain this phenomenon. I paid a twenty-day visit to the island of Aruba when I was fifteen years of age. Three of my older cousins accompanied me to the gorgeous 32 km long island in the Caribbean Sea. The weather was warm and sunny. The landscape: cactus-strewn. Aruba offers tourists natural, historical and cultural attractions they would not find elsewhere. Still, I find myself repressing my memories of Aruba whenever they occur. My cousins and I visited many places in Aruba by ourselves. These interesting places included the Alto Vista Chapel; the Arikok National Park; Bushiribana Balashi (historical gold mines); the California Lighthouse; and the Palm and Eagle Beaches. Although we made very short visits to these wonderful places, we felt very fortunate to be there. A week before we were suppose to return home from Aruba, my cousins and I decided to take a tour bus to the Ayo Rock Formations that have been described as the town of Bedrock in The Flinstones. We had learned about the puzzling geological formations in Aruba, and about the Ayo Rock Formations we were particularly excited because we all had read in our travel guide that this place was once a dwelling place of an ancient race that left petroglyph markings on stone boulders. And, the area is surrounded by huge stones that seem as though they had been stacked on top of each other by giants! On our way to the Ayo Rock Formations, however, a rather unfortunate incident occurred. Our bus had stopped at the red signal on an empty road when a motorbike came very close to our vehicle, as if out of nowhere. There was a young girl sitting in front of the man riding the motorbike. She yelled at the top of her voice: â€Å"Help! Rape! † That is all I remember hearing at the time. I was nervously moving in my seat on the bus, only trying to understand what had just taken place, when our tour guide stepped off the bus to confront the man on the motorcycle. I had actually not seen him getting off the bus. I only gathered that he had left our bus when I saw him being stabbed in his shoulder by the man on the motorbike! The next thing I knew was that the driver of my tourist bus drove off in a rush, leaving the tour guide behind. Many tourists on my bus questioned him anxiously as he drove the bus at top speed. But the man refused to say why he had done what he did. Of course, there were many complaints to the authorities later on. All the same, we could not undo the act of the driver, or the man on the motorbike who had stabbed the tour guide before my eyes. I have never returned to Aruba, and I believe that I never will. Several of my friends have tried planning out a trip to Aruba with me, knowing that I have been there before and may be able to guide them. I do not think I would be able to guide them, however. I do know that that place and experience taught me that I love justice and refuse to empathize with those who do not submit to it, such as the bus driver, who left the tour guide in the lurch, or the man who stabbed our tour guide in the shoulder. I have often told my friends that I hate Aruba. Today I question myself: Do I really hate the place that has made me understand that I love justice?

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