Events are made of memories - those created in the spur of the moment, and those that have mulled over time adding richness through the eyes of others and spice from the recollection of details missing or another's point of view.
A family 'do'; the celebration of a nonagenarian. The room filled with moments from his life and I find myself watching as faces become memories - places, events, smells, textures and turbulence. Yes I remember, yes I recognise - and I do, I really do. The event has been staged, been managed, with everything that goes into such a thing:- inspiration, anxiety, good intentions, bad communications, conversations, consternations, deliberating, scheming and worry.
But now the ball is rolling, the event spiralling: there are greetings, introductions, games are made and played, plots are in action, there is entertainment and distraction. There are faux pas, and toasts, silences and laughter, but most of all there is the sense of a life lived through the people who remember this or that. Remember that house, that slide, that school and when you tripped, fell or tumbled. Now here you, we, they, are better, survivors, remaining, basking. Drinks are drunk, food is eaten, memories spill and mingle with the pools left on tables - elaborated and exaggerated as the facts become part of the myth of a life.
Children play in freedom and cheer, descendants of descendants, and the lasting echo of a life that has seen so much, and touched so many. They play rough, they tire out and perk up again despite themselves, they dance unconcerned even as awareness dawns upon them.
The evening is slow to end, as people drag out one last moment, one last plan. But one by one goodbyes are made and delayed, connections have made connections, neurons have opened new pathways letting the memories breath again and flourish in another's mind, the circle has been invigorated.
Then the tidying, the polishing, the disguising of the night. Equipment is folded, scraps are collected and collated, decoration is disguarded. Couriers are arranged and escorts designated. The party, now infected with the moment of a life, goes off to spread the memories even further in bars, houses, bedrooms and kebab shops.
The event has evented and we are spent.