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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Memories. Mind Over Matter?

When I was three or four years old, I was playing in the sand outside the three-decker house I lived in. It was a nice sunny day, not a foggy day, or rainy day, or dark day, but a clear warm day in Jacksonville, Florida, and I was playing in the sand with another boy, a black boy. I remember this distinctly. There is not a shadow of a doubt in my mind. My parents say it never happened. In 1949 or 1950 it would have been highly unusual. But I remember it. Did it happen? Or is my mind playing tricks on me? Am I confusing one thing with another? Am I merging memories that have nothing to do with each other? Is this an example of mind over matter? The logical person would say, 'Richard, it never happened'. A more imaginative person might say it did happen. I consider myself both logical (with some fallacious thinking along the way) and imaginative (I write fiction, after all). I say it did happen. How do I know? I remember it.

9 comments:

Tanya Reimer said...

Well, if you don't remember something, does that mean it never happened?
This is a great snapshot of your imagination, and even if it never happened, it is real to you.

Richard said...

Hi Tanya, so many things in this life we do not understand.

Jane Ann McLachlan said...

Wow, this opens so many interesting questions! I've sometimes had people talk about an event which I was also involved in, and I can hardly believe it's the same event, they remember it so differently. It's made me wonder how much of what we remember is actual, and how much is our interpretation of an even. Not a recording, but the story we tell ourselves about it. Then, like you, I can't help believing my memory, because, while it's not the most objective evidence, it's the most compelling.

Dr. Margaret Aranda said...

I think Jane said it all. Brings up more questions, more definitely. And I like how you ended it, as a fact. Nice!

Li said...

Time and memory are both slippery things. However, I don't think memories simply appear out of nowhere, fully formed from nothing. There's a grain of truth in there somewhere. :-)

Julia Hones said...

It may have happened on a beach somewhere else and your parents don't remember that. Memory changes things, and there are parts - empty spots - that are filled by your imagination. That is what I think happens to me when I try to recall events of my life. The mind is fascinating. Then, on day, you smell something or you visit a place that conjures up unique memories that would have been otherwise buried in the unconscious...

Todd R. Moody said...

My wife and I argue all the time about stuff that happened 15 or 20 years ago, we remember it differently, but both are sure our version if right.

Great post!

Joy said...

Memory is a strange thing. I've been aware recently of having memories of memories. Like, I know I remember a time when I could remember Neil Armstrong's first step on the moon. But I'm not sure my current memory is the memory, or a kind of photocopy -- especially since I realized recently that I had the memory placed in the wrong house. So there's obviously some confusion around that.

Joy's Book Blog

Susan Hawthorne said...

Memory is a strange land, hazy at times, clear at others. I know that my mother has certain things that she talked about over and over again to the point that I feel I "remember" being there - even though I wasn't even born yet! :)
Perhaps someone in the family had taken you to the beach that day and you met a black boy. (Or maybe he was just very dark and you remember him as black)
Interesting, yes.
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