Plastic model. Rusty project. Memories of parents.
Fourth grade dreams reverberate. A son's talent needs attention. Wrapping up parents' belongings. A purchase of a heap of iron oxide.
The Boulangerie offers glimpses of what’s in a warm place rising or already in the bakery oven. This past week, an astounding and paradoxical panoramic view of the New York City skyline. I only announce when something happens in the Boulangerie on Substack Notes and with my Mastodon loudspeaker: @firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although my book project is not what I would call a memoir, it begins with personal experience and then moves toward less biographical matters. Things that occupy the mind often do that — begin with one’s experience and then draw attention to larger questions.
This podcast is excerpted from an early chapter tentatively entitled “How Things Settle: Memory and Things.” It’s mainly about memory, and specifically about memory of a car model and how the enchantment of cars echoed through some of my life. The chapter as a whole presents challenges that in some cases are specific to the archeologist or the car restorer. What counts as worthy of preservation, of “memory”? Is “patina” bad or good? And it explores the tension of things and memory.
How do things in the world shape us and our memories?
But in general, this brief section is an indulgence of my very own memory in childhood and in my family. The acquisition of the car that eventually became a decades-long project began with hope and with selfishness and discord.
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A PDF of the script is available for download, if you don’t want to listen:
Harriiee. “Traffic Outdoors Sweden.” Freesound, January 10, 2012. https://freesound.org/people/Harriiee/sounds/141239/. Rights: CC BY-NC 3.0
ericreinert. “Auto Repair Shop with Pneumatic Drill Sounds.” Freesound, May 11, 2011. https://freesound.org/people/ericreinert/sounds/120227/. Rights: CC-BY 3.0
cejordi84. “Children.” Freesound, September 8, 2018. https://freesound.org/people/cejordi84/sounds/439578/. Rights: CC0 (Public domain)
Splifffy. “Playground with Childrens [sic].” Freesound, January 20, 2015. https://freesound.org/people/Splifffy/sounds/262048/. Rights: CC BY-SA 3.0
Ramirez, Anthony. “Ring Tone.” Freesound, December 31, 2018. https://freesound.org/people/AnthonyRamirez/sounds/455413/. Rights: CC0 (Public domain)