Memorising Memory

I read this poem a couple of days ago, Where are My Glasses, by Alessandra Liverani, and the humourous poem made me laugh, but it also rekindled my interest in Memory.

Memory is one of the most interesting things I have ever studied. We go through life so dependent on our memories for everything we do, but how often do we think about it, not in a “O! My memory is so bad” kind of way, but with more awe, like “How does my brain remember all this stuff?”

Memory is usually defined as the process of encoding, storage and retrieval of information, trust me, I know the definition by heart, but like all complex things, this definition does not do justice to the enormity of it, or to its importance in our lives.

Memory, has always held a fascination for me, I used to wonder about how we learned things, and how I could remember exactly which spot in a book a particular line appeared. This was just the beginning of my speculation about memory, and I think its pull on me has only grown as people in my life have started to struggle with it more and more.

The failures of memory have upset me, when people I love stop recognising me, when my mother forget things I have told her repeatedly, when I forget things I really shouldn’t (such as turning off the stove, Whoops!).

Memory has been my constant companion, way more than my shadow ( that disloyal thing appears only when there is light) and I wonder what happens when or if it abandons me like it has my grand-father? What then? Or worse, what if it leaves my mother, and she no longer recalls my face, the way her father is fast forgetting hers?

I worry.

If anyone is interested, you can find the Liverani’s poem at:

http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/where-are-my-glasses-humour/

(Sydney, Australia – 2005)

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