Saturday 9 September 2023

Thought Picnic: The convenience of what we choose to remember

Games of the memory

It is easy for others to forget or misremember things when things are remembered, they could also be remembered differently from how events occurred, where things happened, and who was involved.

Too frequently, we are blindsided by the misremembered or forgotten, though whether that is deliberate or inadvertent, one cannot say in the purity of innocence or the sleight of chicanery.

With one’s parents this can be interesting, the charges you want to lay against them, they would rather have forgotten or swear never happened, whilst the accusation they level against you they expect to be a perfect recall of memory, unfailing and playing back like film. Maybe, this is where one learns forgiveness because it feels like taking poison oneself and expecting the other person to be affected.

Feelings of the memory

The wrongly accepted canard is that the child by the passage of time and the influence of life soon forgets totally and never recalls, if ever. That is rarely the case, things are left in the recesses of memory and certain triggers lift them out of the archives of the mind to present new realisation and probably in new contexts too.

Many of these things might not appear in my blogs but have come up in conversation with others, much at the risk of cynicism that subterfuge is at play. What I do is note them down for the broader narrative of the story that the spectrum of the best to the worst is usually represented in relationships.

That way we have been wronged by those we love as much as we have been loved by those we wronged. Each has their own perspective, and no one owes the other a convincing story; most of the time, it is the words of Maya Angelou that ring true, “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” It works both ways, especially in the words of our kindred.

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