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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A quick thought……………

Cover of "Thinking About Memoir (AARP)"

Cover of Thinking About Memoir (AARP)

I opened one of my favourite books, and chose a passage at random. It is from Abigail Thomas’ “Thinking About Memoir”, and if you have not read this little book yet–treat yourself. Here is the passage:

“Living is said to be an art, and like any art it must be practiced with diligence (to paraphrase Dr. Johnson) before it can be done with ease. There is nothing we do in our everyday lives that could not be done with greater understanding.

Very few learned this while still young. Most of us spent the first half or more of our lives trying to provide for our families and ourselves. It’s only in the later, latter half that the questions come: What must I do, how shall I live, what difference will my life have meant when I have come to its end?”

I am in that latter half and I am asking those questions. A life examined is a life revealed and learned from. I do not want to repeat my mistakes. I want to make new ones.

How about you?

Published in: on September 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm  Comments (25)  
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Memories

Cover of "Thinking About Memoir (AARP)"

Cover of Thinking About Memoir (AARP)

Memories: recollections, reminiscences, remembrances. So many of us have been talking about our memories of Christmas past,  but do we trust our memories? Are they faithful to what really happened, or coloured by our particular rose-coloured glasses or half empty attitudes?

Abigail Thomas says this about memories in her book, “Thinking About Memoir”: “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 that memory, mine anyway, is not a faithful record of anything, and truth is not an absolute.”

Ms. Thomas describes the way I remember things. I know this because when I talk to my siblings about events that took place in our collective childhoods, we all remember things differently. I remember details that they did not notice and they remember things I do not. Sometimes it seems we were not even  at the same event, but we were all there. Of course, I think I am right—but I am not. My memories are tinted by my personality and by what I want to remember.

Maybe Memories

Maybe Memories (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being in the same place at the same time and having a totally different recollection of the event is not all that surprising. Perception affects memory, altering it from the truth to perhaps something more palatable.

What do you think?

Published in: on December 28, 2012 at 3:07 am  Comments (53)  
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