Where do all our memories go? Why do we only remember some things in sharp detail, and other things just fade away? Are all the memories really thereand we just can’t get to them? Or maybe we can if we really try.
It struck me today – as it has before – that my memory of my entire life is patchy. There are highlights that stand out in sharp detail. Things like the births of each of my children. The day I learned I was to be a grandmother and the day I became a grandmother. Seeing my grandfather die. My grandmother’s honey cake. My mother picking me up from third grade wearing a bright orange petaled hat and a sunburn having just come back from a Caribbean cruise.
We seem to have no real volition about what we remember sharply. In fact, I can remember saying to myself when holding my toddler son’s hand to remember this moment. But I don’t really. I just remember saying that to myself.
On the other hand, we seem to be able to dredge through our memories pretty easily if properly prompted. A phrase, a smell, a quick glimpse will trigger something that we had no idea was still there. Even as I write this some memories are popping to the fore of my mind. As if just thinking about remembering, causes me to remember! And, of course, there are the little things. Where are my keys? My passport? My raincoat?
It’s scary in its way. I feel I have had a rich life (so far) and I want to remember, well, everything. Are the memories there? Is there some way to get to them? If you have any ideas, let’s talk about them! Meanwhile, I’ll be searching the web. There’s bound to be some hints there. I’ll let you know what I find.