Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thanks for The Memories

Thanks for the memory,
Of things I can’t forget.
Journeys on a jet.
Our wond’rous week in Martinique,
And Vegas and roulette.
How lucky I was…

“Oh yeah, I remember that. She had on a blue dress and she was talking about how she liked the summer days.”
“What? No, it was a blue dress.”
“It wasn’t a red dress, it was blue. Yes it was summer.”
“It was not fall. It was summer. And she had a blue dress. Not a red dress.”
It always amazes me when I talk to someone about something that happened a long time ago and they have a complete different memory of the event than I do.

My mother doesn’t forget anything. She can tell you what I wore to school on my first day of school in first grade. I might remember if she told me, but I don’t know for sure. She knows every place she’s lived by address, everyone who ever gave her a present and also everyone who ever said something she interpreted as bad. She’ll tell me something that happened and she’ll say something like, it’s John Brown, you remember, he lived over by the school and his cousin was Jim Green. There were two kids in the family and they had a blue car. One time both kids had the measles. Well, he married Jan White the other day and they moved to where the Anderson’s used to live…and I won’t have a clue. She’ll add more details. I still won’t have a clue. But in her defense, it’s hereditary. Her mother never forgot anything either.
I, on the other hand, have apparently developed very selective memory. I have too much real stuff to think about to remember some of the trivial things there are to remember. A friend of mine called one day wanting to know what happened to our friendship. I didn’t really know anything had happened. I was busy, she was busy, and we just kind of drifted apart. She started in talking about when we did this, when we did that, what I said, what she said…none of it rang a bell. I felt kind of bad but I didn’t know what she was talking about.

My youngest son was here for a visit. I asked him why he thought people remember the same event differently. He said it was a matter of perspective. I agree with that. But I also think that personal experiences play a part. Everybody sees things slightly differently. Even something seemingly with only one answer can be interpreted differently. I have a brown car. My husband thinks it’s silver. He says it looks different depending on the light. The color on the owner’s manual is burnished bronze. If we saw a car, just like mine, in an accident and were questioned by the police, I’d say it was a brown car. He’d say it was silver. One person's brown may be another's silver.
 When people begin to talk about events, things can really get rearranged. Some details get lost, some are added, and some are completely changed in the conversation. It reminds me of that game we used to play as kids, where the first person whispers a sentence or phrase into the ear of the person next to him and they whisper to the person next to them and so on until it’s the last person’s turn to say what he heard. When you ask him what the message was, most of the time they say something completely different than what the first person whispered!
I read an interesting blog the other day that told about people imagining themselves performing an action, and later believing they actually did it. Have you ever had a great idea about doing or even about how to do something, and suggested it to a friend? Days or weeks pass, you see your friend and they tell you about this great idea they had and what they did. But it was really your idea. If you even suggested it was your idea in the first place, you’re shot down. They would remember distinctly that it was their idea and you aren’t anywhere in the picture. I wonder if that’s how memories of the same event get distorted. We adopt the stories we’ve heard and make them our own.

Memories are formed through associations. Sights, sounds, smells, and impressions are tied together to form a relationship. The relationship helps form the memory. Think about a smell you associate with ‘home’. When you smell that certain smell, all kinds of memories are awakened. Mention that same smell to a sibling, and a whole other group of memories, which they have associated with that smell, come about.
Your memories are your experiences that become a part of your identity. These experiences make you who you are. Your mind keeps a scrapbook of things that happen. I think memories contribute to your personality as well. I think remembering certain things can make you act differently than you would have acted had you not remembered. Regardless, you can't know who you are if you don't know who you are. If you don’t know where you've been you can’t tell where you’re going, if you’ve already been there or if you even want to go. Now remember the time we went to Martinique. What? We’ve never been to Martinique? Well, as I remember it…

And thanks for the memory,
Of summers by the sea.
Dawn in Waikiki.
We had a pad in London,
But we didn’t stop for tea.
How cozy it was…

Day 194 of knitayear, October 11, I headed to work to head to Andrews, a town about sixty miles from my house. We heard a great speaker. It was also knitting night. I felt refreshed and I was glad I went to both. I used blue variegated cotton because it reminded me of water and freshness. On day 195, I was tired out by the end of the day. It was October 12, and I was tired and it was my late night at work. The session was okay, I think I was just still tired from the weekend. I chose peach and black cotton. It’s pale and seemed like a tired color to me. October 13 was day 196. I am amazed at how dumb people can be. I don’t know why, and I should be used to it now. I picked a shocking hot pink velour yarn. I wasn’t shocked but it seemed fitting. Day 197 is October 14. I’m getting a bit apprehensive about the trip. I have some brown thread left over from the Citron and that’s the color I used today. Day 198, October 15, is my day off. I’m carefree until later. I have the kids for the weekend, all three of them. I’ll enjoy the calm while it lasts. Sure enough, confusion when I bring them home. I found a loopy pink/brown floret yarn that I used. It’s got little puffs on it that stick out. A little crazy after they get here! October 16 is day 199. I’m a little overwhelmed, to say the least. The kids are good, just busy, busy. I have some rust colored ribbon. It’s pretty but it reminds me of being inundated for some reason. And I am. Day 200 is October 17 and it’s beginning to get a little crazy around here. I’m tired and they are still busy. It’s fun and I wouldn’t trade for it. We watched the Munster’s and they aren’t convinced it’s a funny show and not a scary show! I picked a furry orange yarn. It’s winding down. Mom and dad are coming soon. This weekend we made some memories. I won’t forget.
And thanks for the memory…


  1. Love reading your blog girl. Hope all is well on your side of Texas...

  2. Thanks Brenda! Should we make plans to meet in Dallas? Hope you are feeling like your old self soon. Well, better than your old self! ha ha