I reviewed 2022 as I wrote our Christmas letter and thought about the year that is passing and the memories I will carry forward from it.
I remember an incident 34 years ago where I was rude to someone. They had budged in front, but even so. Weirdly enough, I remember that. 34 days ago, I (quickly gets up to check the calendar) worked and did my weight lifting routine. What else do I remember from that particular day? Well it was a Friday so likely the surgeon bought me lunch and we had a good day. Chances are high I did a couple of errands on the way home but still had time for a walk enjoying the cold and a beautiful sunset. Other details appear to be MIA. 18 years ago at our son’s high school graduation I remember the rain and the altered location for photos but not him walking across the stage. 18 minutes ago I was working on this blog post but it is highly unlikely I will recall what prompted these words to flow from my brain as time moves on.
And that’s the thing. Besides the science of short and long term memory how is it that certain things stick and others slide away? Will Young A’s superb memory continue and will the bike rides, zoo outings, camping and farm trips remain intact as she ages or just suggestions and feelings associated with it? Will Little Man C remember that this was his first year alone at outdoor camp and what a wonderful week we had? Will I remember a specific sunrise, sunset or a moment of pure natural beauty like the hoar frost on the grasses or the sweet smell of buffalo beans? The calendar can fill it the basic details but not those sorts of visceral ones. Will I lose the stellar mountain road trip with cool blue waters and beautiful lake front vistas but remember the warmth and fellowship of my cousins? The annual camping trip with the Littles could become a blur of memories, thoughts and feelings as the years of them increase and blend together.
This is not the first time I have pondered memory. I wrote about it here at Collective Memories and a A pixel of time.
I’ve no more answers then than now. I mean I know there would be some scientific specifics but there is a lot of memory that isn’t covered in neurological papers. The feelings that those memories can evoke all from a sound or smell or even a touch.
I’m thinking on a Thursday about the memories I cherish. I bet each reader has many special memories that are deeply embedded, just like I do. Good thing because “Bob” so wisely said we can’t relive them.
10 thoughts on “Thursday thoughts”
For some reason (I’m sure there is a reason), we tend to remember uncomfortable moments, or moments we made a bad choice, or moments we did/said something stupid easier than we remember good or even neutral times. I still cringe at some memories. Maybe we can re-wire our brains to have better memories of when we shine then when we stumble. Although, it’s good to learn from the times we wobble, right?
I love that idea Janis to shine the light on our highlights but learn from the stumbles (of which there are many because life is messy and sometimes we just don’t DO better). Happy New Year – sorry for the late response. I was busy over on my photo blog doing a big December dump of photos and spending time with family and friends. Take care. Bernie
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Interesting thoughts to ponder, Bernie. May your New Year be filled with making wonderful new memories.
I ponder it occasionally as I have a sister who remembers nothing from our childhood and a brother who remembers absolutely everything. How does some stuff stick and other stuff slide into drawers and never return? I definitely will be making memories over the next couple of days. Happy New Year to you and your family. Bernie
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Oh, Bernie. That was just gorgeous to read and really prompted me to reflect on memories and the experiences that “stick”. Got me thinking once again, about the things that really matter and the things that we can think are important in a moment, but in the grand scheme of things, really aren’t. It’s those things that touch the heart and enliven the senses that linger. You captured the idea of memory so beautifully and it’s really left me thinking and I love that!
Your comment Heidi also hits the nail on the head. What sticks and what is truly important. Thanks for reading and commenting. Nice to have a new reader along for the journey. Now get back to your trip!! Bernie
Hi, Bernie – Bob is very wise. As are you. I believe that although our memories will likely fade as we age, the feelings and fellowship remain. At least I hope that they do!
I have very rarely been called wise… I’m a bit too impulsive and not analytical enough to get that moniker. But I do write from my heart and live life to the fullest. I hope that you are correct; the feelings and fellowship remain. The smell, touch and sound will evoke those important feelings. Thanks for stopping in to read. I am sure you have lots going on! Happy New Year. Bernie
What value is ‘wisdom’ if it does not include speaking from the heart and living life to the fullest? ❤
Ah thanks Donna.
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