A particular highlight of Westport Toastmasters’ regular meetings are the topics sessions: the latest meeting was no exception and left the group in fine form for the evening’s speeches, all of which were excellent. there is a particular knack to picking topics and our topicsmaster had given careful thought to his choices for the evening.
One topic in particular that stood out for this writer from that session was “My Favourite Teacup”, which brought out a wonderful reminiscnce from one of our longstanding members. I dare say all of us in that room were being carried off in different mental directions at the phrase and, in many cases, quickly reminded of times past and, perhaps, loves lost. It was Marcel Proust who noticed (and wrote over 3000 pages on) the propensity of human memory to be triggered by an everyday object, eg, a biscuit dipped in an afternoon cuppa or the way the light might fall through the leaves one sunny afternon.
A wise topicsmaster exploits this tendency to free associate into buried memory: one of the nice side-effects of our meetings is the unexpected bringing-to-life of histories and anecdotes that might otherwise be forgotten.