Memory can be a tricky business.
It can bring us a smile in the late afternoon as we’re in gridlock and a certain song comes on the radio that connects us to a nice moment in the past. It can be elusive in the most inappropriate of times. Like, when we’re at a crucial juncture of a business deal and we’re desperately trying to remember that particularly important detail that the whole deal may hinge upon. Sometimes we are more selective about it. ‘Um, no, I don’t really remember that time I insulted my brother-in-law at Christmas Eve, are you sure that wasn’t his brother?’ Other times, memories come rushing up to us, as we regal our family and friends with the great anecdotes of the past.
The losing of one’s memory or the inability to recall certain events can be attributed to any number of things. It could be the brain’s way of protecting you from a traumatic event in the past. Or maybe you just smoked way too much pot in high school. Perhaps you are suffering from an age-related condition like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Whatever the case, for me, I just know that it can be a tricky business. Or, more appropriately it has been and continues to be a tricky business.
At the time of this writing, I am only 44 years old, and yet I have a despicable memory capacity. Like, I am not exaggerating here when I say that I am often being told by my brother or sister of events that we all shared just ten years ago, and yet, I’ve no recollection of the event whatsoever. I am also not being over the top when I tell you that my wife is quite often referencing barely week-old conversations, only to see me wearing a profoundly confused look on my face.
There have been no truly traumatic events in my life. Little to no marijuana consumption at an early age. And I’m certainly not old enough, yet, for the dreaded Alzheimer’s.
And yet, too many times have I struggled to remember, what, to me, are some of the most important and interesting elements to my life.
Not for lack of trying, though. I’ve tried some dietary changes, more holistic approaches. Of course I never really stuck to the diet or the herbs long enough to know if they’d had any real affect. I tried a daily meditation practice to see if that might help in some way train my brain to hold onto some memories. Of course I never really stuck to the meditation practice long enough to know if that was working. I even once kept a dream journal by my bed side, which I would write in immediately upon waking from a dream. I had some wicked dreams, and writing down some of them were helpful in deciphering some aspects of my life (not unlike what meditation can do, I suppose). But of course I never really stuck to the dream journal long enough to know if writing down my dreams was helping me increase my memory capacity.
And so, I suppose, I am now here, in the proverbial blogosphere, in a last ditch effort to make some memory stick. I am hopeful that this writing, combined with my films, will provide as some record of my thoughts; in essence, a documentation of my memories. On one hand, this bit of writing might amount to nothing more than a journal, but on the other hand, it might actually provide as some sort of road map – albeit maybe a selective one – to my life and my work. So that one day, when I’m old and grey, and my son or daughter ask me about a certain time in my life (and theirs), if I find myself unable to recall the time or event in question, just maybe I’ll have some sort of a record of it here. In these pages. In these thoughts. In these… memories.