Monday, October 12, 2009

Short-Term Memory Down The Lane

I had a conversation about two years ago with my former lady-friend of decades past. We sort of went down the memory lane trying to recall what used to be. What it turned out being though was a revelation of some sort. Not only do we remember a totally different series of events (each of us remembering something else), but also that we had the most difficult time bringing those past into life again. It seems that those memories were buried deep, and almost like a defense mechanism of some sort, our alter-egoes somehow are trying to stop the memory-train. And so in the end, we were just laughing at how we seem to be getting old na (hehe), meanwhile understanding that who we are now is asserting its dominance over who we were. And we simply let it be, knowing that we cannot (and should not) disturb the shallow seas.

There are different reasons why we don't remember the past. One reason is like I was illustrating above ---built-up walls. Another reason why we can't remember certain things is that the events simply did not enter our memory banks strong enough to be held intact. The idea of making memories (i.e. memory-consolidation) is that we have to be excited enough and focused at the time for it to be placed into our brain. For example, events such as the 9/11 can be vividly remembered by a lot of us because at that time we were at an alert level high enough for us to make those memories of the time stick (well, of course, in addition to all the endless playback in the news of that plane as it nears the building). On the other hand, there is the phenomenon of not remembering the night when one is so drunk (my apologies for folks who do not drink, hehe). Ethanol can sedate to the point of interfering with memory-consolidation. I believe there is a recent movie made about men not remembering the night before, right?

There may be period in one's life when one wishes not to remember. For me, I find that ever since I came to the US, I've made fewer memories than when I was living back home. In simple terms, I never took my life here as worth remembering. Sad, no? Part of me thinks all those years have gone to waste. But then again, maybe there is a reason why everything is the way it went. Maybe one of the reasons would be my retracing of my footsteps to lead me to understand the fragility and complexity of memories. Maybe another is to come to a choice-decision of going home.

In any case, I am happy for folks who remember much about their lives. They are, truly, living the times. There really is no other way but that. As for me though, well, I've made a clearing for myself and though the grass is still too high for me to see what is out there, I believe I am near the bend where I can finally see the place I for long have wanted to be at... new sweet memories to be made.


At 7:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't dwell too much on the past. move on.

At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hhhhmmm,this will be a nice sharing in a starbucks place. just sit back and a one world of nescafe. ooppss, don't tell me, starbucks uses nescafe?

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's actually Blend 45, not Nescafe.

At 1:48 PM, Blogger kauban said...

Hesitantly starbucks, but no Nestle pls... >P

At 9:47 PM, Anonymous melagladdie said...

nothing can still beat the taste and sweet smell of "dried rice coffee" in my province. But, I can still sit back and relax at starbucks to give company to those who drinks white mocha coffee (whew!, tamis pala iyon!).

At 11:49 PM, Blogger kauban said...

pano mo alam na white chocolate mocha and iniinom ko? :P

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Graziella said...

although since I haven't had Nescafe for a long time, nakaka-miss din....may instant coffee na ang starbucks ha, ok kaya?

anyways, about this post of yours, I wanna share something about an experience of mine living here in the U.S. It might sound pathetic to some and I don't even know if it's in line with your post. I think it is though.
I've been here for 15 years na but if you ask me about Christmas and New Year and what I mostly remember about it, I'll start talking nonstop, passionately like a little kid about it but it'll all be my memories of Christmas and New Year in the Philippines. It's sad but I've never had a memorable Holiday season here for some reason.
Maybe because it was just so happy and simple back home. Kahit konti lang ang pagkain, kahit wala gaanong regalo....kakaiba ang saya.
Or maybe I'm just more alive and happy and ME back home......


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