MEMORIES – REAL, BEHIND A GAUZY VEIL, OR MISREMEMBERED

Fandango’s Provocative Question – #17, Revisited

What do I remember? What do I remember only in parts? Do I remember anything that didn’t happen?

It’s an interesting question. To the best of my understanding, I remember something or I have forgotten it. Some things I’m assured (by others) have happened, but I have no memory of them. There’s just a hole in my memory. I don’t remember being in that place or any of the things that supposedly happened. It remains an unsolved mystery.

Occasionally little pieces of the missing memories pop up for not obvious reason. Then, there are people who know me who I don’t recall. Mostly though, I don’t remember all of an event or activity. I remember pieces. The high points, so to speak. I forget the details, the numbers, the specifics. Some of the things I don’t clearly remember happened a  long time ago.

I remember when I was in thirties, I wanted to get some information from my Aunt Kate who was the oldest of my mother’s sisters, close to twenty years older than my mother. She told me what she remembered, but then said: “You know, that was a really long time ago. Almost 75 years,” she pointed out. At the time, it didn’t mean that much to me but these days, it means a lot. I don’t remember much of my young childhood, partially  because it was pretty bad on a lot of levels, but also because it was a very long time ago.

Sometimes, these days, odd memories from long ago times just pop out while I’m reading a book or watching a movie. Things I do not forget? Music. I remember all the piano pieces I ever played and if I played them a lot — for example for a performance — I can see the notes in my head. I have heard that when we are losing our minds, the very last thing we lose is music.

Trent suggested that we have a closeness with music that we can’t entirely explain. There is truth in that because when other memories are gone, music remains, including the ability to perform, to play an instrument, or sing or perhaps, both.

I would have no way to know if some of my memories are not real. How would I know that? If I think the memories are real, and no one else was there as a witness, how would anyone know?



Categories: #FPQ, Anecdote, Fandango's One Word Challenge, Music, Provocative Questions, Remembering - Memories

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5 replies

  1. Interesting study.

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    • There’s so much about memories we don’t understand. We have theories, but the theories pop up, get very popular with people who are conceptually trendy, then disappear because oops, turns out we’ve done another study and the first study was wrong. Until the next study.

      About the only thing we seem to know is that MUSIC is the last thing in the heap of memories we keep. We may forget who wears which face or even where we lived, but we remember tunes, melodies, and how to play an instrument if we ever knew. There’s some hold music has on us that nothing us has and despite all the studies, no one knows why.

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  2. I’ve been having the weird experience of finding letters in the attic that counter what I remember about people and relationships. So, yeah, memory is interesting – does one remember the event/facts or the emotion? So interesting.

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    • The only reference I have to old memories are the people I was with and many of them are gone — or they don’t remember, either. Also, I think that context matters. We remember the thoughts and feelings. Sometimes the sound and smells. We know we read the book because we can remember how it ends, but we don’t remember when we read it or how old we were. In my current world, only Owen and Garry have been around for most of my adult life — and no one has been there continuously. I didn’t save the thousands of letters I wrote from Israel (that was a really stupid move – I should have saved them).

      So I don’t know anything beyond my memories. And since this is all oral, other people’s memories are no more accurate than mine — and that includes my son who is 22 years younger than me. His memories are clouded by too much vitamin A and a pretty strange childhood.

      I have to go with what I think I know. I don’t see any alternative. Pity about those letters!

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