Monday, February 20, 2012


I'm pretty good with names.

I can remember the name of almost everyone I've met at one time or another and usually some miscellaneous fact about our acquaintance or their family or their know, a conversation starter of sorts.

But for some reason that is disconcerting to me, I can only remember pieces of my long term memory and typically, those encounters are distorted to some degree.  For example, I could swear that I saw a movie with my husband, when I didn't.  I claim that I've never experienced a restaurant, a town, or a song and low and behold, someone starts recounting the experience and I was there.

I probably fell on my head or have the same affliction that the dude in "Memento" suffered from.

But it has me thinking, how do we carve out our memories?  How do we decide what's important and what to file away in such a spot that it can be easily and accurately recalled?

Why do we select certain experiences, people, or feelings to finely access immediately at our finger tips and others are so far away that its as though they never occurred.  

I once told a friend that he would have to be our institutional memory because he recalled finite details about us that for some reason, I no longer had access to.  Which means that some of us have extraordinary long term memories.  We vividly remember childhood, 'coming of age' rituals, our 'firsts' and even those silly details that probably no one in the world cares about.

As I've been constructing an outline for my writing...I've been recalling parts of me...and in an effort to give legitimacy to the experiences, I may be reaching out to some of you.  It seems that for me, my memory is a collective experience...a mosaic constructed by those I love and who love me...which is probably how it should be.

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