Friday, August 7, 2009


Sometimes I feel like the inside of my mind must look like the warehouse at the end of Raiders of the Lost Arc, an unending labyrinth of mysteries and treasures that are impossible to inventory. Instead of crates containing magical objects, my head houses memories that are stacked on top of each other, with one occasionally tumbling to the floor and knocking loose an avalanche of recollection.

It's unsettling when something triggers a memory that I've heretofore completely forgotten. It's been hiding there in my subconscious, packed in mental raffia and shelved among all the other memories gathered across my lifetime. A smell or the snippet of a particular song or a glimpse of water sparkling in the sun can trigger instant recall. I'll remember some small event with crystal clarity, though I literally had not thought about it even once since it originally took place.

On occasion, the opposite phenomenon occurs. No matter how hard I try, I cannot remember an important detail or some event in which I'm certain I took part. Perhaps a conversation I know I had, yet cannot remember with whom I was speaking. Or the name of the author who wrote the play I spent a good 3 months out of my life preparing for the stage. Or this picture I found while cleaning up the 26,000 photos that are clogging my computer. I don't recall ever seeing it. Yet it's smack dab in the middle of several that I took of our newborn twin daughters, shortly after we brought them home.

How can I not remember such a precious moment?

Dinner last night: cheeseburgers, corn on the cob


Stephanie Faris said...


My mom said as she gets older, little things come back to her from childhood that she hadn't remembered before. Someone told her that was normal but that seems strange. She said your short-term memory isn't as sharp but you seem to remember things from the past better.

Anonymous said...

oh my HEAVENS! That's just adorable and scary all at the same time. Love it.
I have found pics that, looking back, I realize they didn't mean as much to me when I took them, as they do they seem like a completely new picture. Just never registered before.

Helene said...

Awwww, what a sweet picture! Isn't it amazing how some of the best memories get blocked out, somehow?

I had the funniest moment in Target last week. A lady came up to me and gave me a hug and started asking how I was, how the kids were, etc, etc....I had no clue who she was yet obviously she knew me from somewhere. I instantly thought of YOU since you had just written that post about being so forgetful. I think I was panicking on the inside, knowing that I should know who the heck she was. After she walked away, it dawned on me that she was a friend of a friend who I had met maybe twice. I asked Tim, "Was it pretty obvious that I had no clue who she was?" and he said, "Do you want me to be honest or do you want me to lie to you?". That pretty much summed it up for me.