A Service Presented via Zoom April 2021.
Call to Worship Rev. “Twinkle” Marie Manning
Let turn our attention to the sacred
as we consider the words
of Poet David Whyte when he says:
“Memory is not just a then,
recalled in a now,
the past is never just the past,
memory is a pulse passing through
all created life,
a wave form,
a then continually becoming other thens,
all the while creating a continual
but almost untouchable
Every human life
holds the power
of this immense inherited pulse,
holds and then supercharges it,
according to the way
we inhabit our identities
in the untouchable now.
Memory is an invitation
to the source of our life,
to a fuller participation in the now,
to a future about to happen,
but ultimately to a frontier identity
that holds them all at once.
Memory makes the ‘now’ fully inhabitable.”
Let us accept this invitation
and explore together this Gift of Memory.
Restore Us to Memory
by: Rev. “Twinkle” Marie Manning
the Greek goddess of Memory,
was considered one of the most powerful
goddesses of her time.
Revered during a time when Memory
was of the utmost importance.
At a time long before the written word
was incorporated into language,
Memory was critical to the well-being
of an individual
and a society
who had to rely solely
on the lessons and history passed on
in an oral tradition.
Mnemosyne is remembered as being
the mother of the nine Muses,
each of which represents
what could be summed up
as the embodimental elements
of the human experience, our expressions of:
- Epic and Love Poetry
- Music, Songs and Religious Hymns
The memory of Mnemosyne was all inclusive
— it was the memory of the rules and energies of the universe,
the cycle of life,
the people, animals and objects on Earth,
the memory of how to live in the world.
And the world, beyond.
Mnemosyne’s memory served as
protection, beacon, and blessing.
Another revered female figure
both Saint and Goddess,
depending on the source:
is Bhrigid, or Brigit, Brigid
also closely tied to the arts, poetry and memory.
A prayer-poem dedicated to her
conveys how important memories were
to those of Celtic origins:
Brigid of the Mantle, encompass us,
Lady of the Lambs, protect us,
Keeper of the Hearth, kindle us.
Beneath your mantle, gather us,
And restore us to Memory.
Poetic examination of this text
indicates the use of “Mantle”
associates the theme with the part of our brain
that plays a large role
in the processing of information,
in consciousness, awareness
…the creation of memory:
(the cerebral cortex).
We can conclude that
not only is this a beseeching of
being remembered by the Deity,
but also having one’s own mind transformed
to a renewed condition of health
so that the essence of memory
This kind of desire
for memory and remembrance
is echoed through many religious sources.
Many believe there is
an etheric Keeper of such memories,
be it Mnemosyne,
or St. Peter at the Gates of the Christian Heaven.
At a human level,
We are each other’s Keepers
– of Memories
And, we want to share
our memories with others.
Along our journeys,
In our quiet moments;
In our public exchanges;
In our pursuit of
understanding the world we reside in
and our purpose in it,
We are affected by each other.
And we want to be remembered
as who we know ourselves to be.
For being remembered
as who we know ourselves to be
means being understood
To be understood creates a sense of belonging
Which is an intrinsic human desire,
indeed, an intrinsic human need.
Cultures around the world for millennia
have left evidence
of their desire to preserve Memory.
Pictographs and Petroglyphs in Arizona;
Hieroglyphics in Egypt;
Cuneiform (Coo nā a-form) Script
throughout Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey
Each provide more than a mere glimpse
at primitive civilizations that once existed;
Often thought of as the mechanism to disseminate
the doctrines of gods
and dogma of humans,
These writings and pictures also give insight
as to what once were their daily lives,
family shapes and sizes,
rituals, cultural norms
and power structures.
The art portrays the observations
of these ancient people,
of the solar cycle
to characterizing animals,
vegetation, landscapes and waterways
of the natural, and supernatural, worlds.
Some of such,
very subjective in its observational tone,
drawing attention to that which
must have held significance
to the observer,
creating a better understanding
between ancient artist
and present-day patron.
One such example is of rock art
discovered a few years ago in Egypt
depicting a herd of elephants
– one of the elephants
has a little elephant inside of it
representing a pregnant female.
Seemingly a small distinction,
yet at that point in history
apparently a rare way
of illustrating a gestating animal.
Carved between 4,000-3,500 B.C.E.,
this discovery in the Spring of 2017
by an expedition of archeologists
led by Yale Professor John Coleman Darnell,
was surprising to the archeologists.
For while Ancient Egyptian
Hieroglyphics and art
have been widely found
throughout that region,
this discovery unveiled
monument size hieroglyphs
meant to be seen and read
from a great distance.
Compared to a modern-day billboard,
the location of these inscriptions
show a kind of writing
that until recently
was believed to be only used by
the ruling class at that time
and used for bureaucratic purposes.
Yet prominently placed where they were
on what would have been
a route well-traveled by the general public,
it indicates that the messages
on this “road sign” or “wayside pulpit”
were readily accessible
to the understanding of more than merely
the most privileged of the day.
In archaeological frameworks
what this means
is that the clock has been turned back
and the point in time
they have long-believed
the Egyptian writing system
first became accessible
to the general population
is much longer ago.
And while we do not know
the artists and scribes by name,
their memory of their time on Earth,
grows and expands though these findings.
Informing those who have access to it.
Then and Now.
So it is, too,
with the memories we are creating today.
Individually and Collectively.
It is not just a recollection of
“What once happened”
Memory has a life of its own.
In the current moment.
Drawing on past,
present and anticipated future
to inform it.
The best way to preserve
Long Term Perpetuation of Memory
is to pay attention to it
as it is unfolding,
and the mundane moments.
Scientists tell us memories
are encoded most strongly
when we are paying attention,
when we are alert,
when we are deeply engaged
and when information is meaningful to us.
Protective measures can be put in place
to better equip us
towards the preservation of memory.
For we humans have some
obstacles to overcome
when it comes to what
we could call “memory thieves.”
Mental and physical health problems
interfere with our ability
to pay attention
and to recall.
Also strip away our mind’s ability
recollection of past memories
and encoding of new ones
as those who are in depressed
and/or isolated states
are often focused on
and replaying such over and over in their minds
and as such
they are not entirely present
for current moments.
Experts in the memory field
have noted that socialization
to whether or not
our memories are strong.
Studies have shown
that people with high levels
of social integration
have a higher rates
It is suggested this is because
social interaction is akin to
maintaining muscle strength – muscle memory if you will.
As such interactive, uplifting conversations
are a good workout for our brains.
– like learning a new language or skill,
is like Yoga for our brains.
And while we are considering
movement and exercise,
as with the rest of our body
that improves its health.
With physical activity
that increases blood flow
including to the brain.
This along with
consuming nourishing foods
aide in the brain’s Neuroplasticity,
which helps us to organize information
and be flexible and welcoming
of new ideas.
perhaps more than ever in history…
is a key component to memory loss.
Similar to Depression,
when we are in Chronic Stress mode,
we are not fully present
for muchof Life’s genuine experiences.
Chronic Stress keeps our bodies
Many of us are overloaded with work,
personal and family responsibilities,
and the inundation
of negative media and news,
which are responded to
with increasingly urgent calls to action
one after the other after the other,
of public concerns
that we focus on.
Our body’s stress response mechanisms
are meant to signal our minds
to become alert
and our bodies
to become activate.
This physiological stress-response
is designed to make sure
we can survive in a crisis.
And then reset.
Coming back to a calmer state of Being.
Without extended calm periods,
our bodies become
flooded with chemicals
that result in
a loss of brain cells
an inability to form new ones.
This affects our ability
to retain information.
It affects our ability
to make good decisions.
It affects our quality of life,
and the quality of Living we can engage with.
As a People of Faith:
We respond quickly to injustices.
We respond intuitively to the needs of others.
With the rampant media
informing us daily,
of each impending crisis, locally, globally.
With ever-emerging movements
tugging on our bodies, minds and spirits
to contribute all that we are
in gestures of solidarity
so that we can make the world new again,
Many are exhausted!
And, need to rest.
Now, I am not suggesting you set down the mantels of social justice,
for that would be blasphemy
if ever there were such sacrilege to be named
in your creed-less faith tradition.
But what I am suggesting,
What I’m imploring
And what I am asking
is for you to give yourself permission
Instead of passing through Life
in a blur of pressings and pressure,
Practice being attentive to Nature,
to the changes of the season
and of the landscapes and of the sky.
Notice the light
as it shines through your window
And the stars in the nighttime sky.
Notice each other!
Pause and notice how your lover’s eyes light up
when you enter a room…
Lover’s…. Let your eyes light up when your lover
enters a room.
Smiles and laughter make memories.
So do tears,
Take time when they are called for.
Let them flow
and accept what that moment offers.
Embrace this human experience.
Take a vacation
to explore something new…
Visit a sibling our cousin
or neighboring congregation
once in awhile.
There are plentifold ways
to access online these days
and at different times during the week.
It is an opportunity to make
connections with those who share
similar values, hopes and dreams.
It is also an opportunity to connect
with those who hold foreign beliefs,
and a way to understand more deeply
why they do.
With many talented musicians within your ranks,
I know I am truly
preaching to the choir!
So, Yes, sing!
And listen to music.
Move as you are able.
Hug each other.
Hold each other.
Rejoice in each other.
There is a Navajo Prayer
When you were born
and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so
that when you die,
the world cries
and you rejoice.
Make memorable moments – into memories.
- Healthy Diet and Exercise
- Carefree Socialization
- Loving Relationships
- A Sense of Community and Belonging
- Mental and Emotional Rest
- Spiritual Nourishment
All contribute to better memory storage.
All contribute to better Memory Making!
Restore you to memory.
May Love reside here.
May you take time to rest.
And, may you live your Life
so that you rejoice!
Pastoral Benediction Rev. “Twinkle” Marie Manning
May the memories you most cherish
continue to serve you;
And may you continue to make good memories together,
and hold them close.
Remember you Belong to Each Other.
Keep in Mind that every moment
is an opportunity to make a memory.
you want to remember
And be remembered by.
May it be so.
Original Copyright November 2018
Revised and recorded for this video April 2021
Rev. “Twinkle” Marie Porter-Manning is the senior minister for
The Church of Kineo, an emerging ministry on Moosehead Lake in Maine.
Twinkle strives to include many philosophies in her services.
Her interfaith ministry often focuses on the earth-centered, spiritually connected and community building aspects of transformational faith.
She is the Founder of Twinkle’s Place and Moosehead Lake Retreats,
and also has a Wedding Officiant service for those seeking to have their wedding ceremony on or around Moosehead Lake.
Much of her theology is contained in Living Life as a Prayer, published by Matrika Press in 2020.