Memory is becoming an increasingly addictive subject for me. Not just what we remember, but how, and when, and why. I remember how to write, but I have never actually been tested on my writing ability (meaning, do I know how to put the pen/pencil on a blank sheet of paper and create legible words that have meanings). I know how to formulate a sentence, I know the use of gerunds (now), phrases, clauses, modifiers, hyphens, semicolons, etc. But I have not been questioned on my knowledge of these things. I remember them when I am in a situation that requires my skills, but in everyday conversation, my knowledge of these details is as useful as a wet paper bag (that’s a simile!).
Last year, or so, I had a class called Science and Literature with one of my favorite college professors. (Remember my use of “or so”, I think it’ll be important later in this blog). We read this novel :
that has made a larger impact in my life than I expected it to. It’s about this man who is looking back on his life and his friendship with Adrian. I don’t know how much to say without ruining the story, but it is an incredible novel. I picked up on a connection between memory, time, and water — a symbolic necessity that I want to share. I actually typed a paper about the novel and the relationship it details about time and water and the way we remember things according to both. The more time passes between an event and our memory of said event is like a river. Minute details change, and over time, become an entirely different memory/river. Deep, right? My professor thought so too!
Anyway, since reading this novel, I think about the way I remember things. Last year, or maybe it was last semester, the semester before that… I knew “or so” was going to be important in this blog, because I wonder if the timing is really important. But, it is! The timing of my memory is everything. It determines when I started changing and thinking about these things, it determines what really happened. Now that I have run off on a tangent, I should return to my intention with this paragraph. But, I can’t remember.
I have that Sugarcult song stuck in my head now, Memory.
Oh, yes! I had to read through what I wrote to remember what I wanted to say. Why and When we remember things evolve the memory entirely. I remember we had that one guy, who I thought was a cute psychology professor, come into the class and talk about this. We give ourselves false memories when we try to remember something we are hazy about. We become so sure about being in Kroger when it was actually Publix, (this was part of his speech, but I don’t remember if those were the two places he mentioned) that we refuse to admit we were wrong, even if there is tangible evidence.
I’ll be thinking about impaired memory now, and what happens when things out of our control affect the way we remember things, or the ability to remember things at all.
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Leave me a comment on your thoughts, memories, or ideas for future posts.