Memories

I was thinking today about memories, specifically how we cherish them…I was inevitably drawn to the immortal, hauntingly beautiful ballad by Barbara Streisand from the movie with Robert Redford in “The Way We Were”…

“Mem’ries,
Light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories
Of the way we were
Scattered pictures,
Of the smiles we left behind
Smiles we gave to one another
For the way we were”

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I think most memories are like that, filtered through a prism of nostalgia and affection, it is the good memories that we cherish the most…That first time we fell in love, the graduation from high school or college, our first (and maybe only) marriage, the birth of our kids, entering the strange and mysterious labor force for the first time,the finding and getting a decent job, and then the years roll by like those old black and white movies with the calendar pages flying and floating away and enfold us, swath us in a warm cocoon of healthy, loving feelings…

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According to my Google sources: “The memory plays a role in all our activities. It helps us remember all kinds of information (personal memories, common knowledge, automatic processes…) for a more or less long while (from a few seconds to an entire life). It is essential in creating and developing our personality, it is a direct witness of our own past (episodic memory), and also of history and common knowledge (semantic memory). The memory is therefore one of the most essential cognitive functions in a person’s life.”

Verbal memory and visual memory

“Verbal memory allows to memorize e.g. a series of words and to recall them a few minutes later. For some, it is easier to memorize visual than verbal information. Visual memory highly depends on our attention skills”…

In daily life

“The memory is the cognitive function we most call upon. We use it to store all types of information, e.g. a phone number, what we did last week-end, an appointment, where we left our keys, the name of this thing and that person we just met, a historical date… It also plays an essential role in various cognitive activities such as reading, reasoning, mental calculation, mental imagery… Whether we’re aware of it or not, we constantly use our memory and it helps us develop a stock of common knowledge, personal memories, or motor processes…”

Those are the cold hard scientific facts, but for me memories are always associated with emotional feelings…They could be good memories or bad memories, but they are just as real to me as the day they happened…Consider this, it is a line from one of my songs as well:

“And I don’t remember what it was like before, the day before I first ever…. laid eyes on you….
And all of these swirling, whirling memories come crashing down like unfinished melodies”…

This what it is like to me, the first time when you meet that certain someone who is meant to be inextricably bound into the fabric of your daily life…You cannot remember what life was like before this person ever came into your life, and you can’t imagine them ever not being there from that point on…It is like they always were there, but they were not…

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Because there is a certainly a demarcation point in life, there is always a “before” and an “after” but it all becomes blurry and confused when it comes to meeting your significant other, however that turns out for you, good or bad, sweet or sad, happy or painful… But they have become such an integral part of your life it is like they were always there, like your kids…

Life is strange, and there are many twists and turns on the road, choices made or not made, or as the poet Robert Frost so eloquently put it:

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference”

It is a testimony to the human spirit that we always try to make the right choices, even if we fail in the attempt, but this is how memories are fashioned and stored away in our brains…

I know we are all burdened by bad memories too, sad memories, of loved ones dying before their time, of accidents and affairs and divorces and custody battles and personal medical setbacks and bad business decisions we later always regret, but they are all part of our infinitely complex and wondrous memory system too….Things happen, and we can only try to cope the best we can, and try to remember the good times…

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But in the end, I guess it is a measure of a man or a woman’s life, how many good memories we manage to keep and nourish and cherish that makes it all worthwhile, and how we suppress or forget the bad memories, chalking them up to experience so in a way they are important lessons learned too, and never to be forgotten…

Memories are a vital, crucially important part of our daily lives as humans, and as many good ones as we can store up the happier and more fulfilling our lives will be…Do animals have memories? I don’t really know, but I do know that people do…Memories are an essential part of the human condition…

I think our stored memories are the measure of each of our separate and shared lives, and that while they are undoubtedly useful in daily life, I think it is the special memories that we all cherish that make life worth living….

4 thoughts on “Memories

  1. My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was totally right.
    This post actually made my day. You can not imagine
    just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

    Like

    1. Hi Aja, Glad you liked my blog on “Memories” …Please thank your brother for me and I hope you both continue to read my blogs, i try to post one every day….Sincerely, john whye

      Like

  2. What you posted made a bunch of sense. But, think on this, what if you added a little content?
    I mean, I don’t wish to tell you how to run your website, but suppose you added a
    title that makes people desire more? I mean Memories
    | johnwhye is kinda boring. You ought to glance at Yahoo’s front page and watch how they create news headlines to get viewers interested.
    You might add a video or a picture or two to
    grab people excited about what you’ve written. In my opinion, it could make your
    blog a little livelier.

    Like

    1. Hi Dedra, thank you for your comments about my blog “Memories” but I am a little confused about what you mean by adding content…I did insert well over 20 relevant pictures into that blog….I am exploring the video concept, and I do appreciate your constructive criticism about Yahoo and “grabber” titles, and hope to receive more constructive criticism from you in the future….Sincerely, john whye

      Like

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