Retaining memories

My memory is extraordinarily frustrating to me at the moment. I mean, you don’t want to write too much about your foibles and frailties because who knows what insurance company is trawling through your online footprint or whatever. So for the record, no I don’t think I’ve got some memory problem. Not some diagnosable issue, anyway. But I’ve absolutely got that hormonal fuzziness that is so widely talked about.

I’ve always had a diary, but that’s more to give myself a sense of the doing of things. I’ve never needed it to act as a reminder before. Now though, I forget things to the point that I’ve even left a friend waiting for me. Twice.

But it’s not only the specifics that I’m fuzzy on, it’s the more generalised and global as well. Looking back on the last 18 months or even two years, I don’t have a visceral attachment to any of it. Even though I’ve done some big memory-worthy things–travelled to Japan, put on new shows, renovated my house–none of them are really sticking. I know the rona has muddied our senses of time, but this is something a little beyond that as well. ‘It’s as if,’ I said to a friend (have said to any friend who will listen), ‘I’ve been out for a night and had a few drinks, and I didn’t get completely blindingly shitfaced, but I did have enough that there are pieces of the night that I only remember once people tell me about them.’

My frustration is that I feel as if I’m not getting the full potential benefit of my experiences. Like I’m not experiencing them as fully as I might. And then there are the many little flashes where I think, ‘I should write about that,’ but then, when I sit down to write I find that those moments have disappeared. I can feel the scorch marks in my mind where a thought was sparked, but the flame and the light of the idea has disappeared.

These two facets of this experience coalesced yesterday. I was driving to Middleton and I was listening to an episode or two of Backlisted and in one of the episodes they were talking about a book about insomnia and the piece they read included snatches of poems. I’ve been more strongly drawn to poetry–to reading poetry–lately than I ever have before. And at the time I heard those quotes I thought how interesting it was that I seemed to be drawn to the way in which when I think about poetry I feel it more lightly. Not that it is any less sensual than the way I used to feel my experiences, with that kind of magnification and amplification. But that it works on me from the outside in, whereas the writing I used to do worked on me from the inside out. This is a complex sensation, or series of sensations, that I need to give some more thought to. I need to push this thinking and this idea and to examine it more closely. And here is the benefit of blogging, and the reason that I’m so excited to have this space back. Because I’ve captured this thinking now. I have come, I have recorded the thoughts, and because it’s public (as public as a hidden blog can be) I have written it articulately enough that I’ve teased out at least some of what it is I want to say.

This particular thought won’t be lost to the ether as are so many of my thoughts because I simply don’t remember them anymore.