Nature Future Conditional

The story behind the story: The memory lanterns of Loi Krathong

In this week’s Futures, Preston Grassmann returns with a story about the importance of memories: The memory lanterns of Loi Krathong. Regular readers will remember Preston’s previous pieces for Futures (there’s a list at the foot of this post if you’ve missed them). Here, he reveals the inspiration behind his latest tale — as ever, it pays to read the story first.

Writing The memory lanterns of Loi Krathong

A few years ago, I went to the Yi Ping Festival in Chiang Mai (often considered part of Loi Khratong — a festival of candle-lit baskets placed in rivers), where thousands gather to release lanterns into the skies of northern Thailand. When I heard of how this festival symbolizes the release of misfortunes and the painful moments of one’s life, I imagined a sky filled with purged memories – pain and personal trauma floating away in the flaming perch of a paper lantern. A short time ago, I had faced moments of deep sorrow and despair — losing my mother to cancer. Would I have let go of the painful memories if I could, erased the trauma from my mind? As I began to write The memory lanterns of Loi Khrathong, words bearing their own kind of sharing light, I knew the answer would come in the form of a story.

Read other Futures stories by Preston:

Midnight in the cathedral of timeThe vermilion marketBroken maps of the seaVenice, Version 9.0Clocking out


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