Category Archives: donald miller

Memory patterns according to Donald Miller

When I remember my summer as a camp counselor at Sandy Hill Camp, I don’t remember a lick of my training or hardly any of the campers names or what it was like the one week I assisted teaching the photography class. You would think that human thoughts are always fluid, well-transitioned, sensible if you would judge this based on their writings and speeches but thought is often composed of stark jumbledness with at times no awareness to why one thing flows after another.

It’s like that with camp. I remember camp being a series of events that may or may not represent the experience accurately. I just remember tidbits.

I remember taking my first tour though the cabins and my friend Mark telling me that the owner was really excited when he was talking to me and that I would definitely get the job.

The only campers that stand out our the ones I had the first week; a girl named Kelly and her 7 best friends. Kelly always thought she was on the outside and dealt with that very outwardly and caused a city of commotion about her feelings. The camp supervisor told me after they left that she had taken that group last year and knew they were difficult, that’s why she gave them to me.

I flash to remembering a weekend where all the staff went to hang out with there friends, and I am looking out the window of my cabin wondering how I would pass the time until my new campers came.

I remember the basketball classes I taught and looking forward to Thursdays, which was “passing day”, where we would play a full court game with the kids that involved no dribbling, passing only. The kids always loved that game and I felt like a good camp counselor when I taught on Thursdays.

These thoughts aren’t necessarily the more sensible ones to choose from my experience. DM says “What memorable scenes do is punctuate the existing rise and fall of a narrative”. Memories, in some ways, remind me of photographs; they don’t really well-represent the time period they document. Pictures and memories are flawed. I don’t take pictures because I’d rather have an accurately depicted video, but I would probably never watch it. Maybe it’s better to have disjointed memories that recall experiences in a positive way then to flash back to the reality, which is probably more boring and filled with empty space in between stand-out fun times. Or maybe I’m just a cynic.