The combination of corn tortillas and avocado will always make me think of Guelito. I remember when I was 4 or 5 and he was visiting us in Mexico City. We walked to the mercado to pick up some fresh avocados, perhaps more things but I only remember the avocados. Then we went to the tortilleria for fresh corn tortillas. I love the smell of a tortilleria. I remember asking if we could sit on the curb and just eat them before we went home so I wouldn’t have to share with my younger brother and we did. A little girl and her grandfather on the street eating a fresh aguacate and tortillas. It seems like the perfect moment, delicious fresh tortillas, the perfectly ripened avocado and the love of a grandfather.
It also makes me think of the time I asked my mom how to say aquacate in Spanish. She smiled and said, "Aqucate". This exchange continued several times and in exasperation, I demanded to know. Still smiling she explained that aquacate was the Spanish word for avocado. Learning English again when I moved back from Mexico was a bit challenging. I have so many memories that I need to write down.
I was thinking about these two moments in my life yesterday as I sat in a meeting where memory preservation was being discussed. I am the storyteller, record keeper, but when the question was asked, "How do we help people preserve the memory?" We all know it's important, but how do help others get started, I didn't have an answer.
How do you start?
Where do you start?
How do you preserve something and still be in the moment?
That is a challenge I have, do I get the picture or do I enjoy the moment.
There was no one to take our photo sitting on the street curb eating, a grandfather and his tiny granddaughter, but it doesn't mean that the memory or moment is diminished in any way. Today many years later while eating a tortilla and avocado I decided to document this simple memory. The photo is not perfectly composed and I probably should have wiped the table off before I snapped the photo, but the few extra steps didn't seem necessary. The entire process took 10 minutes, a few minutes more if you count heating the tortilla and eating it with avocado.
Back to the original question, what is the answer? What will it take for you and me to preserve the memories? What are the hurdles? What would motivate or help you? I would love to know.