Sunday, January 25, 2009

ss - phantoms & shadows


Maybe it was the fact that I was listening to an old CD yesterday, maybe I've just lost it...but today in the middle of my sleep I came across a detail of my life of ten years ago. It was a completely useless detail, not even entirely related to me, it was about my friends and our daily routine. It served for nothing but stir other old memories. But why would I remember something so useless in the middle of my sleep?

This is just one of the subtleties of my memory. Some parts of my life seem to be buried under cement. Sometimes with a little help from what people tell me or something I wrote I can recall and recreate these events.  This forgetfulness goes  against my theory that I have a really good memory, particularly of details. I remember things I ate years ago, songs I was listening to, the sensation of certain clothes I was wearing - it's always very sensorial and if it wasn't for my senses I probably wouldn't remember anything at all. I haven't mentioned the smells but that is obviously the sense that brings out more memories and feelings.

My memories are like cotton wool. They are soft and light and often seem ready to disappear like the clouds in the sky. And when you pull one memory, others come right after, exactly like the cotton threads. Coincidentally Cotton Wool by Lamb was the song I was listening to last night.

30 comments:

Rinkly Rimes said...

es are certainly like 'cotton wool'. They appear to have a shape but then they turn out to be whispy things that fly away.

Lucy said...

i just love the comparison of cotton wool to your memories.
memory does seem to work this way.
what makes certain memories just pop out?

SmallWorld at Home said...

I understand this completely. I do think of myself as having a good memory, and yet sometimes I forget huge events in my life. Very odd.

murat11 said...

DM, this is a lovely meditation on the prompt. Isn't smell the most memory-laden of the senses?

I love the line "Some parts of my life seem to be buried under cement."

I'd vote for the CD triggering the useless detail. Even a song I don't even like from forty years ago can trigger my memory of exactly where I was at the time I first heard it, whereas yesterday's breakfast, unless accompanied by Cassandra Wilson, is more than likely off in oblivious cement.

anthonynorth said...

Memory recall is such an amazing and complicated thing.

floreta said...

Interesting. Yes, I find memories are very sensory myself! For me, right now, there is a guy I met that eerily reminds me of my first boyfriend, right down to the smells! It is creepy, really.

In regards to recalling memories through writing, I find that once I start writing about something, I can actually remember things better than if I were to just try thinking about it.

keiths ramblings said...

Cotton wool memories. What a lovely thought. Why is it my childhood memories are clearer than my adult ones? One of life's mysteries I guess!

missalister said...

Very interesting, the mystery of memory! A lot of the things that stick, that I never forget, seem relatively unimportant, while the things I deem important to remember, I forget. And it seems that what gets in and sticks, I have psychological receptors for; that is, if a happening or a remark directly hits any of my deepest seated interests or opinions of myself, I will never forget that happening or remark. Well, it’s hard to put into words, but maybe you get my drift ;-)

paisley said...

very nicely put... and it is true,,, especially when you are with a bunch of people that share the same memories,, one just leads to the next.......

danni said...

the whys and wherefores of how - what - and when - we remember is just off the wall and bizarre in an unsettling sort of way by times, is it not??? --- i can hear you thinking out loud about all this very clearly - and it really resonates with me!!!

Alone on the Isle said...

I am with you, memories do not exist for me in a bubble, but are connected to touch, taste, smell and sound. Excellent SS!

Tumblewords: said...

Tangled skeins, loose ends. Memories are tied to so many unnoticed stimuli. Nicely written post!

Devil Mood said...

Rinkly Rimes: Indeed!

Lucy: The little things can act like triggers to our memories.

SmallWorld: Oh yes, memories are very odd 'things'!

Murat: Yeah, yesterday's breakfast is a complete blur. ;)

Anthony: It is indeed! Capricious.

Floreta, that's interesting, I'll try to write about it when I want to remember something. As for the guy...yes, that sounds odd.

Keith: That has been happening to me too lately...

MissAlister: No, I get it. It is exactly like that. I studied the memory issues a few years ago and obviously I've forgotten all about it now but...there is such a phenomenon!

Paisley: Oh isn't that the best when we can complete each other's recollections? :)

Danni: yes, it was an odd moment for me, particularly since I was half-asleep and maybe dreaming about it. Odd!!

Alone in the isle: Oh yes, they are full of senses.

Tumblewords: And those stimuli certainly make the memories stronger in our mind.

Aathira said...

I think that s beautiful, if you can remember something so vividly from 10 years back!

I had a dream too yesterday, though I think that was very much nothing which ever happened in my life!

Gillian said...

I love it when things get stirred up and out of nowhere like a breeze of fairydust a memory surfaces beneath our nose.
They linger, deep in every cell of our body...deeply coded into our very being. Sometimes the strangest thing can provoke them....
xoxo

DayByDay4-2Day said...

The other night I was trying to go to sleep and I was thinking of an art project. I should have gotten up and wrote doen my ideas, because now I can't remember them.
:(

sirbarrett said...

As soon as you said "cotton wool" I thought of the song...then you went on to mention it! I used to love listening to Lamb. Goreicki is also sweet.

deepbluewater said...

great picture! nice post:)

fb said...

Do we have more memories as we get older and become more forgetful as remember what's come before?

DayByDay4-2Day said...

thought I would tell you that I still have my Eccentric Comet Brooch that you made me.
:)

gel(Emerald Eyes) said...

HI DM!
"like cotton wool"
and you related this post to your song in a delicious way.
Memory is quirky and the topic has always fascinated me.

Devil Mood said...

Aathira: But aren't those the fun ones? :)

Gillian: Absolutely and well put there.

Day: Oh yeah, that happens and it's terrible. Keep a bedside notebook, that helps. Aw, that's sweet, glad you still have it!

SirBarrett: Oh yes, Gorecki is a monumental song. love it.

Deepbluewater: thanks. hi!

Gel: Thanks, it is fascinating!

dharmabum said...

very reflective post, and i lobve the reference to cotton wool.

i'm usually pretty lousy - i hardly remember wat i did a few years back.

lissa said...

ooh how interesting. i love the analogy of wool and memories. the same thing happens to me a lot of the time and i smile to myself and wonder where in the world did that memory come from. i have the worst memory ever and sadly fear for the few memories i will have left once i hit old age.

maddie said...

gosh

that photo is sublime

and cotton wool
i understand so completely

so strange what stays ....

dharmabum said...

hey, not like you to remain silent for this long...all well?

Aathira said...

Haven't seen you active in a real long time.... Everything fine?

Devil Mood said...

Lissa: I'm sure you will have plenty and hope they're mostly good ones.

Maddie: Crazy clouds that day.

Dharmabum and Aathira: Thanks for asking. I'm still around, except blogging hasn't really been happening.

phish said...

i am in love with memories. and good, bad or vague they hit you sometimes, when you least expect it, with an intensity that immobilizes you.

i love that you notice it and write about it so beautifully.

Devil Mood said...

Hey Phish, I do enjoy it when you think you don't remember anything else about something and when you least expect it...you do!