I Don’t Recall

Rome 2016-09-12

I had this story I was going to tell. It was about a lesson I had learned. I know I had the idea during a conversation with my daughter.

I am in the kitchen preparing lunch and she is sitting at the table. We talk about a documentary she had seen. It was on how unreliable memory is.

She said it was frustrating in a good way. She already knew most of the examples and studies because I had already told her about them (these are type of the things I talk about with my children [and anyone else who is willing to listen]).

The documentary had asked and answered an interesting question. If memory is so unreliable, what is its purpose?

The answer seems obvious. You cannot move forward, if you don’t remember where you have been. You cannot build, if every time you have to start from scratch.

And memories need to change to integrate lessons learned, even if that means that that memorable moment did not happen as you remember it. This is the point where I told her the story I want to retell, a lesson learned.

I remember laughing at myself because I keep on pushing the lesson back in time. “It was fifteen, twenty, maybe thirty years ago. Regardless …” And just before I start telling the tale, I realize that it must have been even earlier, when I was still a teenager. The next thing I remember is thinking I should write the story down.

The oven starts beeping. It is time to eat.

2 thoughts on “I Don’t Recall”

  1. I like that, I’m often puzzling over the role of memory myself and like this positive, instructive slant on it…thank you. Glad I’ve got a memory of us hanging out by the canals! Ha! What am I going to learn from that, though?

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