Thursday, November 01, 2012
Memory, Retrieval And Story
“We don’t have memory problems, we have retrieval problems,” says a friend. There is something about having a child that prods memory. This week my daughter anguished over her pre-calc at a level that was painful for a father to watch. I flashed back to my childhood. I hated math. I had significant math anxiety. I remember crying because it made no sense to me yet I still had to produce.
Tonight the kid was working on Spanish homework via a computer program. As I let my mind wander (as I accessed the file marked ‘Spanish’) I remembered a song I enjoyed when I was in Taxco, Mexico. Thinking of the song brought back other memories of my trips to Mexico.
Memory is an interesting animal. One day late in my fathers’ struggle with Alzheimer’s he was recounting to me the loves he had over his life. He started fine but soon into the story I realized that he was combining elements of his early life with the current. As an example he told of a high school sweetheart of his and how their love didn’t last because he lost her on 9/11. The memories were there, just the ends threaded together without the middle.
I am hopeful that despite loss of RAM I am still able to retrieve memories and data as I age. Part of me suspects that my stories will be lost both to time and to access. That is one reason I blog. To set down the stories. The ‘cloud’ will remember long past my capability to do so.