Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

age and memory

 Unshared memories are the loneliest thing of all. That was my thought as I looked at some old photographs. Those pictures are people and places that I knew in my youth. Choice and circumstance have removed me from that place. My wife and children have no memories there. As a result even though I sit here and look at those pictures, tell the stories that go with them, the memory is a lonely one. That is because the memory is only shared by one, and I am that one. There is an old song One is the loneliest number, that expresses that same sentiment. It really does take two to share. What I'm really doing is relating stories about those pictures. The story is always one sided. I'm afraid it is not very entertaining to the one listening at times. My wife has heard all the stories, multiple times, and yet she still listens, and I love her for that.
 Of course I do share on Facebook. There are folks there that remember. With those folks I can reminisce. The reactions are a bit delayed due to transmission of data, but nevertheless enjoyable. I can call my sister or mother and talk. It isn't the same thing as being in the same room and sharing however. It is as I wrote the other day, visiting,  that I miss. I miss people just stopping by unannounced and unplanned. I miss just stopping in on others. I miss the whole conversation thing, talking about much of nothing. Yeah, you could call it gossiping but I call it having a discussion of events or possible events. Might even be what I think you were doing or saying. You can't really do that long distance though. That's the problem with the past, it was a long time ago. Visual aids are required to stimulate conversation about that stuff. Isn't that why we take those pictures in the first place, to remind ourselves ? We do the same thing by holding onto certain objects. I have things the kids made in kindergarten, a gift I was given by an old friend and those type of things.
 Memories are in the first person. That is my thinking anyway. I may share my memory with others but then they are a story. If I share that memory with another that was there, that is in the first person. That is because they can respond to you, in the first person as well. Two eye witnesses to an event comparing notes. It is that action that keeps those memories alive. The memory does become stale if only told by one. Another old saying is, a picture is worth a thousand words. I agree that is the case. It is especially true when two or more people share the view. It has been my experience that the background is often more interesting in those old photographs than the central subject. The background brings back memories too. I guess that is where that saying originated because it would take a thousand words, at a minimum, to explain a photograph. I would say that could be true with objects as well. How old does something have to be to be considered an artifact ? I have a few of those around my house and I store my old pictures and papers in a chest labeled the " archives. "
  My oldest memories, the ones before my wife and children , are in a distant land.  Now the kids are all grown but haven't reached that age where they are interested in reminiscing. They don't want to talk about the past because they are too busy living for today, and planning for tomorrow. I'm at that age where my biggest plan is to stay alive as long as I can. What's that saying, you don't know what you have until it's gone ? Yeah, I would like to go back and get some of that. The function of memory is to take us to a place and time. It just isn't as much fun when you go alone. I don't know I guess I'm just feeling a little nostalgic, a little bit lonely looking at the old pictures. Still I'm drawn to them like the proverbial moth to the flame.
 The whole thing is that my memories with the wife and children don't seem quite old enough. They haven't aged all that much. At least that is the perception I have and I think most of us do as well.  Yeah an occasional baby picture or some significant achievement may be remembered every now and again. Those pictures and events aren't securitized however as their memory is fresh. There is no explanation or discussion required. About the best you can expect is confirmation of whatever facts you already know. Memories do have to " age " before they are appreciated. Memories preserved ? How long do they have to age ? Well the best apart about memories are you can always make some more. You will never run out. Could be it is time for me to start remembering the 80's. I've still got some CD's from then.