Remembering things

April 29, 2007


One of my closest friends who is 72 confesses that he often forgets things that have occurred after 2 weeks have gone by. Rather than be depressed about this, he finds that “everything is new again.” Last night at our UCLA post-retreat party, one of my colleagues confessed that she often runs into a room and then stands frozen, forgetting what she was looking for. Rob then said his 14 year old daughter does the same thing. Whew! I thought it was only me that did things like that.

Some years back while visiting my parents, I told my father that I had always loved the sermon he preached on memory. In it he said that what people choose remember says a lot about who they are. He confessed not remember having given that sermon. How could I fault someone who has probably given over 15,000 sermons in his life?

I’ve been watching movies that I’ve seen: some maybe 30 years ago, some less. So often I find that everything is new again. I may remember certain elements of the film and sometimes I find that I don’t remember anything. That being said, I have found that sometimes I don’t remember the story of films I saw a week ago. I seem to have a hard time remembering stories. I don’t know if this is from an undeveloped part of my brain, or something that I never have worked on. I don’t recall ever being asked by a teacher to “tell me the story of [such and such].” Use it or lose it I guess. So, perhaps I’ve lost it. Or, rather than accepting that fate, I could start to work on that undeveloped part of my mind. I remember writing “book reports” in grade school, perhaps I need to revisit that habit and write movie reviews, even if only for myself.

Memory is a slippery thing. I know as a piano player, there are times I can remember everything I’ve ever played, and sometimes I can’t remember anything. Such is life, but I’ll take it.

[Image © Sven Geier, Ph. D.]

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