To aid your fickle memory, it is time to get yourself a jotting pad.
Your memory is not really a dependable asset. It forgets things which are vitally important and refuses to let go of things you’d rather it did not store for posterity. But no, it WILL do the opposite both times!
Touch has a memory.
~ John Keats
There you are, innocently going about your day thinking about the gazillion irrelevant things you think of in each moment. You aren’t conscious of this ‘thought through-put’. Your mind is like a busy public corridor dotted with cozy, hidden pockets into which moments heavy with significance repose, waiting to pounce upon you unexpectedly.
Just when you are tearing through those by-lanes in a mad rush, looking for you know not what, they choose to swirl out of their invisible hiding places and stand in your path, compelling you to acknowledge them. Completely throwing you into a tizzy, of course.
There are people and events your memory will NOT let go of. Some telephone numbers you can rattle off in your sleep when you have no recollection of ever having read all ten digits of, let alone making an effort to memorize them. There are aromas that can recreate an entire chunk of time for you in a whiff.
And there are places that will reproduce, in the minutest, most flamboyant detail, the moment when you wound a delicate thread of silk around a straight thumb.
No matter how much time goes by, the vibrancy of those events will not fade. You would never forget any of those moments, you know it.
The worst part of holding the memories is not the pain. It’s the loneliness of it. Memories need to be shared.
~ Lois Lowry
Yet there are things you furiously instruct yourself to remember, but you can’t. You can repeat them to yourself in fervent reminder ad-infinitum but when the time comes for their use, there is no trace of them. It is as if they had never existed in any shape or form. How, you ask yourself irritably, can you remember every moment of those three days from seven years ago and not remember the things I asked you to remember just this morning?
Of course there’s no answer. There never is an answer to rhetorical questions, is there?
The mind has a filter of its own. It accepts no instructions. The more you ask it to let go of certain events, the more entrenched they get. The more insistent you are that some other worthies be given room in the mind, the less likely they are to find toe-space in those haloed precincts.
You forget what you want to remember and you remember what you want to forget.
~ Cormac McCarthy
You wonder if there is a way to have a say in the selection process of what gets ensconced for eternity in your head and what is not allowed to get a foot into the door. If you could pick and choose the contents of your memory, you’d be on the velvet. Also, you wouldn’t need a jotting pad at all.
If you could also periodically spring clean and declutter the mindscape, wouldn’t it be fabulous? You could clean out the broken, faded and damaged memories; dust and polish those that have always given you joy. You could proudly enshrine some memories in your inner garbh-griha because that’s where they truly belong.
Maybe it is just as well that you don’t get to have a conscious say in the matter. Perhaps it would be dangerous to trust a monkey mind with precious things. Perhaps your soul handles the job better that your capricious mind could have.
For the rest, how about that jotting pad?