I can’t remember where I read this but I’ve come across versions of it a couple of times in recent reading….the idea that memories we access more often are more likely to be corrupted than memories that are more pristine. ( , was it you that posted something about it?) As I continue to mine my past for a couple of current WIPs I have begun to wonder how corrupted some of my own memories may have become.
Poem a Day #21
I’ve been so sure of my memories
now when yesterday’s hurt
runs into today’s doubt
I wade into a sea of what-ifs
what if it didn’t really happen
or not the way I’ve always told myself
what if the embroidered edges of my memories
make it the same
worse than reality
less than ideal
what if I have to let go of my righteous anger
and let the past collapse into the dust that birthed it
what if who I thought I was
is someone different
from who I am trying
Susan Taylor Brown.
All rights reserved.
Susan, this a very good poem bringing to light an emotion I believe many of us have – doubt of we were, who we are today, and who or what will we be in the future.
Thank you, Mary.
This made me think, “What if age has something to do with perception? What if the hurts that are felt as a child are sometimes perceived slights — slights that really weren’t meant to be slights at all?” (I hope that makes sense.) The ability to draw from the feelings that surround those types of memories is a strength for children’s writers, I think.
It makes sense to me.
It’s really a fascinating subject to me, to think that the more I pull the memories up, the idea that I could be altering the memory. Sort of like wearing a favorite shirt over and over again and the edges get frayed.
I wandered to see if I could find out what you’ve been up to lately, as it has been a long time since we have been in contact, too long really.
I liked your poem. As with so many of your writings, I can find some aspect that relates to me. Perhaps that is because you and I have so many little quirks that are similar.
If you get a chance drop me line and let me know what else, besides writing poety, you have been up to. Still going to art class???
that last comment was from me, Becky
In my haste i forgot to tell you who I was!
Re: that last comment was from me, Becky
Hey Becky! Thanks for popping over here. I’ll drop you an email. Life is good. Haven’t made it to the studio much but I see Lori a lot at our weekly goals group.
I remember discussing memory in the comments on someone’s blog–not sure which one, though! Could it have been April Henry’s? She posts all kinds of interesting stuff.
I’ve done a lot of reading on memory, including some works in graduate school. It’s fascinating that memory is not this kind of indelible, unchanging verbatim record that we sometimes think. It’s changeable.
Oh I think you might be right about April Henry. I know it was very recently.
I agree, the idea of memories is fascinating. It isn’t a photograph/snapshot of time, it’s a nebulous feeling that shrinks and grows.