“Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.” *
According to Wikipedia, “memory is the process in which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved. Encoding allows information that is from the outside world to reach our senses in the forms of chemical and physical stimuli. In this first stage we must change the information so that we may put the memory into the encoding process. Storage is the second memory stage or process. This entails that we maintain information over periods of time. Finally the third process is the retrieval of information that we have stored. We must locate it and return it to our consciousness. Some retrieval attempts may be effortless due to the type of information.”
I have been thinking about memory a lot lately. Probably because that pesky “retrieval” process is becoming such a pain.
Perhaps recently experiencing a reunion has made me more than usually aware of this. People remember different things and they remember those things differently.
Also, looking back over my years as a mother, I realize that so much of my children’s “wonder years” are a blur. A real blur. If it weren’t for snapshots, would I remember anything?
I think I need to make more of an effort here. Take some notes. I need to be more intentional about thinking.
Here’s Frederick Buechner on the subject:
“The time is ripe for looking back over the day, the week, the year, and trying to figure out where we have come from and where we are going to, for sifting through the things we have done and the things we have left undone for a clue to who we are and who, for better or worse, we are becoming. But again and again we avoid the long thoughts….We cling to the present out of wariness of the past. And why not, after all? We get confused. We need such escape as we can find. But there is a deeper need yet, I think, and that is the need—not all the time, surely, but from time to time—to enter that still room within us all where the past lives on as a part of the present, where the dead are alive again, where we are most alive ourselves to turnings and to where our journeys have brought us. The name of the room is Remember—the room where with patience, with charity, with quietness of heart, we remember consciously to remember the lives we have lived.” (A Room Called Remember)
I think our culture is becoming less and less intentional about thinking. Everything is presented in a shorter (and shorter) format. Our brains bounce back and forth from subject to subject. Focusing is hard. What will the result of all this be I wonder?
Discuss among yourselves.