“my shining visage”

 

 

I had a somewhat remarkable experience in connection with a memory today.

I had a mild, temporary disappointment once. It was over 50 years ago.

My parents were going out somewhere for the evening. I hesitated and then said to my mother, “It’ll be okay. I will put on my shining visage,” meaning she didn’t have to worry: I accepted the setback and would not let it get me down.

What I meant was, I’ll put the best face on things.

My mother was affected; she liked words herself and liked the way I invented my own locutions. She felt better about having had to disappoint me. (I do not recall details, but I think it was a situation where she informed me about something that was a negative. I think she was the intermediary.)

“Shining visage” means something like beaming, smiling face.

My mother was touched. She said that’s so like you.

 

 

*****************************************************

 

I was ransacking my brain today trying to think, what was the phrase? I drew a blank.

I told myself, you can remember … keep trying.

I thought it might have been something like blithe spirit. That didn’t seem quite right.

I looked in an online Thesaurus for an adjective that means cheerful, buoyant, or sunny. Then a NOUN came to me: visage. Whereupon shining came back to memory within a minute or two.

Memory works by association.

The memory, the memories are there, in one’s brain.

Recall is possible.

 

 

— Roger W. Smith

   September 24, 2017

About Roger W. Smith

Roger W. Smith is a writer and independent scholar based in New York City. His experience includes freelance writing and editing, business writing, book reviewing, and the teaching of writing and literature as an adjunct professor. Mr. Smith's interests include personal essays and opinion pieces; American and world literature; culture, especially books and reading; current issues that involve social, moral, and philosophical views; and experiences of daily living from a ground level perspective. Besides (1) rogersgleanings.com, a personal site, he also hosts a websites devoted to (2) the author Theodore Dreiser and (3) to the sociologist and social philosopher Pitirim Aleksandrovich Sorokin.
This entry was posted in Elinor Handy Smith (Roger W. Smith's mother), general interest, personal reminiscences of Roger W. Smith and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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