Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Soaking it Up

My lot in life these days is similar to that of a sponge. I'm immersed in new information, new experiences, and new people. I'm learning so much and soaking it all up...sometimes I wonder how much more room there can possibly be in my brain. I don't mean that in an arrogant way...just that there are already so many other complex databases of storage in there (photography, the lyrics to oh so many songs, former people and places, the technical mumbo jumbo from 5+ years in the computer industry, on and on.) Yet somehow I still manage to cram in the new, while holding on to the old. I guess that's what we all do as we age and continue to learn new information? Last semester, a professor told me that if you learn something new, and then don't use it within the proceeding two years, the information will be lost. I find that interesting, and I'm not entirely convinced it's true. I can remember the words to a myriad of songs I haven't heard in years, and that's only one example.

I find the topic of memories to be incredibly powerful, and interesting. To me, one of the most fascinating aspects of our capacity to remember is that we each fixate on (and therefore remember) experiences differently. My husband and I have two entirely different sets of memories from the 11+ years we've been married, yet we've lived through many of the same events. Each year on our anniversary we take turns recalling some of our favorite memories over the years, and I'm always amazed at the differences (and similarities) of what he has held onto all these years, versus what I have kept sacredly stored.

All this also brings to mind thoughts of the devastation brought on by Alzheimer's disease. What a tragic fate at the end of one's life, to lose something we all hold so dear. If I ever have money to spare, a large chunk of it will go to Alzheimer's research. Not only for the sake of my dear grandmother, Ruby, who lived and died with Alzheimer's, but also for the sake of, and wonder I feel towards our human capacity to remember.

1 comment:

Duck Hunter said...

I agree with how powerful and interesting this topic is. I try to keep a visual memory of so many things. Not photos, just in my head. Sometimes I am afraid I could lose that.