prompt, random

Write about the shape of memories prompt


medium_Writing_Prompt_402

Write about the shape of memories?

I imagine some people think memories are crisp squares like windows into the past. The peer into them and there is this view they have. Crystalline. I am not so easily fooled. I know the games the brain plays on us all. More so someone like me with a brain compromised by pain such that I am quite aware of the fact, but you are fooling yourself if you believe your memories are accurate representations of your actual past. My memories are round, indistinct hazy objects that I cannot quite make out. Like I am looking at something without glasses and happen to be near-sighted. If I squint real hard I might just add a little bit of clarity to it. Maybe see the sharp edges in there but never quite make out the real pattern or true color. It is faded. It is the way the brain protects itself. Makes memories less real and sharp. They can’t cut us so well if we have emotional distance. If every edge was fresh we would bleed with every memory of offense. Plus we need to remember new things so those memories hold all the angular sharp edges and the old ones get all soft and rounded. So aged memories lose all their details and harshness and patterns. It is why we all disagree about just what pattern that memory we all shared had. Remember that vacation twenty years ago that uncle so-and-so did that thing? Who else was there? What year was that? What month? Just what went down? What was that phrase he used? It was so funny… what was that? Hell if I know. All I can say is that pain is all sharp edges and if you want to remember anything, don’t be in pain while you are creating those memories. Sucks for that. So my perception of time is skewed. My perception of when events happened… skewed. My memories… hazy blobs that I can sharpen the edges on slightly with the assistance of people who were there as witnesses to events. Their extra clarity refines my recall.

Like I said memories are odd things. Like a pane of glass with distortions in it. It is not the event but the reflection, of a reflection, of a reflection of the event we remember. We remember what the brain processed into the long-term memory and then reflected on after. Nothing like what actually happened. What shape is that? That is indistinct and hazy and fuzzy. Even if you believe it is crystal clear. The farther you go back the more distortion. Childhood memories are fewer distortions in glass than they are shards of glass. Just fragments. This is because they lack sequence. Most people, on average, lack long sequences of early childhood memories. They remember fractions of special events, toys, a blanket, a friend, a teacher, a room or a specific event. Event doesn’t really become distinct and sequenced into a series until a specific age. On average it is somewhere between 10 and 12. Then we have this timeline of events where we believe we remember a great deal, but that too is a lie a brain tells is. Well, for the majority of people. Frankly, it is a good lie. I would hate to have sharp edges of all those memories burning in my brain. I have way too many pain days to account for that are best softened by time.

 

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