Thursday, March 31, 2016
Augustine called memory "the fields and vast palaces" of our mind. I have been contemplating how my memory works. Yesterday Kimberly said something that triggered a memory I had about her. I told her, and she was surprised because she didn't remember it at all. In the night, I tried to remember the memory but couldn't. I could remember our interchange (we were with two other people) but not the actual memory I had retrieved. My long-term memory is good at making connections from about when I was 7 years old, but I need something to spark the connection. My short term memory is frighteningly terrible. When I am writing if I think of a word, an idea, or an image but fail to put it down immediately, it will disappear and won't re-appear for a while. Is everything that has ever happened to me still in this vast palace of my memory, only needing a trigger to bring it back? I have a memory of a mystical experience I had when I was 7 of coming upon a spring-fed pool full of tadpoles. I have re-remembered it, recounted the story, wrote about it in a memoir, re-created it in my novel Samara the Wholehearted. What is left of the original experience? Could a trigger someday bring the experience back in its original form? Augustine thought the our memory is the way we sense God.