Later in the day….a slower thought

English: Lascaux Caves - Prehistoric Paintings...

English: Lascaux Caves – Prehistoric Paintings. . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Turned down the corner of the page for this quote so it is not so random, but it is also from Thinking About Memoir by Abigail Thomas. I find it to be truer than true–and that truth comes to light especially when you share a memory with someone who was at the same event and find out, quite by surprise, that you remember the same thing differently:

“Memory seems to be an independent creature inspired by event, not faithful to it. Maybe memory is what the mind does with its free time, decorating itself. Maybe it’s like cave paintings. The thing is, I’m old enough now to know that the past is every bit as unpredictable as the future, and the memory, mine anyway, is not a faithful record of anything, and truth is not an absolute.”

Do you find that your memory decorates itself and is not necessarily true to the event?

Published in: on September 18, 2013 at 8:25 pm  Comments (12)  
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12 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I love this quote..and often say that history is part fiction, predicated upon the memory of the teller of the tale. In many ways my sister and I were raised by two different parents in two different houses – despite sharing both parents and apartment. I’m sure most siblings feel similarly. Whether it is within the framework of loving, working, or just experiencing a day – I think it’s more surprising when the memories are the same..

    • I agree with your last statement–as we all experience life a little differently–my brothers are quite a bit older than I am, and it is like they lived in a different family; my sister and I are only three years apart yet we do not have the same memories either–hence the fluitity of memory I guess

  2. I’ve lost plenty of things such as my girly figure, but my memory seems intact. 🙂

    • ah, but compare your memory to someone else who experienced exactly the same thing–then be surprised that you were both at the same place

      • Very true. I’ve had a few experiences like that.

  3. Definitely!

  4. I so agree that memory is specific perhaps to how you remember an event and it not ‘absolute’… One person’s view or perspective for example as a mother might concentrate on issues relevant to her…but as a father might remember the event relevant to what he considers important to remember… so all may be correct just ‘different’… Diane

  5. One of the things I find most interesting about memory is how my siblings and I remember the same event in different ways and with different things happening! 🙂

  6. I’ve often noticed this reality. Family memories seem to vary quite a bit, depending on age and many other circumstances. Things that you would think everyone would remember in the same way actually appear quite different! I guess it is really a matter of perspective as much as actual fact. ~ Sheila

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