Memory Assimilation

Posted: July 15, 2011 in Uncategorized
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“Memory is a paradise out of which fate cannot drive us.”~ Alexandre Dumas, fils

I went to the grocery store the other day and I saw a bunch of strawberries, and thought of someone. I smelled a pizza being baked in the bakery, and thought of someone else. Then I could hear a song being played over the store’s intercom system, and thought of someone else. Strolling through aisle after aisle there was a mother having an argument with her child about why she would not buy any ice cream and overheard her reasoning. When she said the phrase, “That’s the way it is.”, I thought of another person.

I found my brain being driven into overload from the memories of certain people that these certain things were reminding me. Throughout my time inside that store, I thought of these people. I wondered what and how they were doing, how their lives were, and an overall curiosity of simply, them.

The human memory has got to be one of the most powerful things that our brain posesses. I started to wonder about human memory. I wondered why some people can remember a lot, and others cannot remember what they did an hour before.

I had always been told by my own family, “You have a memory of steel.” I can remember a lot. People, places, things. And in great detail. I think it drives my own family to the edge of either insanity or jealousy whenever my brain releases these memories to my thoughts and I begin to tell their tales.

The earliest memory that I have, I was either three or four years old. I was in double leg casts after having surgery and I was crawling around on the floor inside of the house because my family did not have a wheelchair. Dragging those “heavy plaster boots” around me wherever I decided to roam. Having to be picked up by my parents and placed at the dinner table, or on the couch to watch evening television and then being put into bed.

That’s as far as I can go with my memory. It is not as distinct and clear as a certain memory that I have created today when I went out for coffee and donuts. That was today, this childhood memory happened many, many years ago.

Still though, what is it about our brains and about certain things that will cause us to remember individual situations and times?

The brain does not actually remember things like specific dates, but rather it remembers what we were doing on those specific dates and we are able to connect and assimilate exactly when that was. It is the actions that causes the memory. Not the day of the calendar.

So it was driving me crazy. What exactly is it that causes us to remember?

There are certain “triggers” that cause our brains to remember things. Little bitty things that will make us stop and think about what we had done in our past and where we have been, where we came from.

These things are the following:

  • Sensory
  • Emotions
  • Background
  • Intellect
  • Visceral Sensory

You can look them up on your own time, if you wish to research it further. However I believe that Sensory has got to be the strongest trigger that our brain uses in order to remember things.

I could see, smell, hear, taste, and touch all of these individual things and the senses go into action that I would remember particular situations with these people. Specific conversations or whatever. Nevertheless, their images were in my head in an instant and they remained on my mind the rest of the day. My thoughts were that they were all doing okay in their scope of life and that they were happy wherever they were.

It all boiled down to pleasant things. My reaction was priceless when I realized that everyone or everything that I was “remembering”, I have a fervent passion for. And for each their own reasons.

I cannot explain why I have such the remarkable ability to remember a lot of things in which my family cannot. Or other people for that matter. But I have been blessed with it. One memory will turn into another, and then another, and then yet another.

Memories are flowing as I still write this post!

What is it that causes you to remember certain things? And what is your earliest memory??

Comments
  1. It’s funny but each one of Celine’s perfumes reminds me of a time in my life when I wore it frequently, usually about the first year after it was released.

    There’s a great scene in Amelie where she reunites a long lost box filled with childhood trinkets with it’s now middle aged owner… and his memories come flooding back to him.

    That’s the way it is. 🙂

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