Friday, 11 August 2006

More on Memory

I can't help trying to think about memory again, even if I am not getting very far. How do things that were habitual become forgotten? Why is something that until recently was familiar suddenly seems never to have existed? for example, a tree was recently cut down outside my house. It had been there for 20 years but already I can barely recall its appearance or position from my window here. Most car journeys are forgotten even while I am still driving - I frequently wonder how I got to a certain point and find I cannot recall how. But, as I said before, I remember all my humiliations, even down to the actual feelings of embarrassment! Not remembering anything from, say, 1979, as far as I am concerned I was there as much as I was in 1975 (ie not at all); have those days actually died within me? Have they any effect at all on me (they must do, surely)?

Moment to moment, regardless of whether I recall, say, an early event that led to a fear of wasps, I still run away from them.

I do remember my beloved late grandfather, whom I last saw on his deathbed, a couple of days before he died not all that many years ago, but when I close my eyes I find I cannot see him clearly, though he turns up in my dreams reasonably frequently and I think he looks like I remember him.

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