Monday, February 11, 2013

HMMM...WHERE'S MY MEMORY?


There are occasions when I sit down at the ol’ keyboard to write down something new for this space in the paper and I draw a complete blank as to subject matter. Conversely, there are other occasions when the things almost write themselves. You know, something will happen at home or at work, or I’ll listen to a newscast or torture myself by listening to John Gormley Live on NewsTalk980 radio, or something, and then bing-bang-boom the words are flying on to the paper. But those occasions are rare.
            Sometimes, if an idea strikes me, I’ll jot it down so that when I’m going through one of my idea dry spells I can pull it out later and expand on it. That’s if I remember where I put the damn thing.
            I can almost remember having a memory, if you know what I mean? Ahhhh, those were the days my friend. Yes, of course, I still have a memory but sometimes it doesn’t work so well. My long-term memory?…no problem…the color of my grade 2 home-room teacher’s eyes?…blue, the Hubbard’s phone number in Marquis, Saskatchewan, in 1965?…26, (okay, that’s an easy one), but why am I standing in the back porch right now? Not a clue. I know I came in here for something and I’m not leaving until I remember why or what.
A while back I guess I had put some notes away for future columns and totally forgot all about the cache. In my defense, I had put them on to one of our numerous computer drives so then I had to remember where I had stored my memory but I didn’t have anything to remind me of what I had to remember or where I had put the notes so then I didn’t remember I had even done it until I came across the notes by mistake. Make sense? Only we short-term-memory-challenged will know what I’m talking about.
            They say that doing brain exercises can improve one’s memory. Or at the very least stop it from degenerating too fast. That said, I found that information when I Googled “memory” but there’s so much information on the subject that there’s no way at all I’m going to remember a tenth of it.
            And it’s all cyclical, too, isn’t it? Stress affects your memory and you get stressed because you can’t remember stuff which increases your memory loss and around and around we go.
            And the stuff that we don’t want to remember we do and the stuff that we’re supposed to remember we don’t. Like the time you snuck out a little gas in the gym when nobody was there and then a bunch of people showed up and you couldn’t blame the smell on anyone else or the dog, or anything, and you keep reliving the embarrassment of the situation over and over again. No? Never happened to you? Me neither.
            Come to think of it, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, in your life is based on memory. Right at this exact moment in time every smell, every sight, every sound, every feeling is recorded and compared to an experience that you have already had. At its most basic, that’s it, that’s memory, which, essentially, is life.
            So my hope is that this will be a memorable column for you, Dear Reader, and with any luck I will remember what I wrote here and you won’t be subjected to reading about it again if I forget that I wrote it and I write it all over again.
            “Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.”-Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592).

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