Memory, a fickle think…

Oh, the thinks you can think!

Memory is such an interesting thing.  I am not sure if we really remember all of the events of our lives, I am sure that people study this and there is probably an answer, but, in any event, we can’t recall/retell events long past.  Maybe the ones that had some significance or impact, but not all  things that happened to us.  Even details from only a few days ago are kind of hazy now in my mind.  I could tell you in  broad strokes about the last month, but only specific details here and there.

The other night I was struck by the memory of going to the theatre with my parents.  I did find it ironic at the time that the memory that we so clear was one of theatre experiences, but that is besides the point.  I remember specifically, two shows that we went to see at the Wheelock Family Theatre at Wheelock College in Boston.  I don’t remember what years, I know that I was relatively young and the shows were Peter Pan and Fiddler on the Roof.  I can sort of picture the set for Fiddler in my head a little.  I am sure that is kind of tempered by what I think it should look like or other ways that I have seen it.  I sort of remember seeing Peter Pan fly, though not much else.

Possibly one of the oddest things that I remember about these trips to the theatre is what I remember thinking.  I remember that I used to think that the auditorium was some kind of separate “ship” type thing.  I thought that the audience would go into the theatre and then it would take-off or something, and another auditorium would come in for intermission or the end of the show.  I know, really kinda bizarre, but I really did think that.  I also remember thinking it, which is possibly also kind of amazing.

What is it about memory that brings somethings into clarity sometimes?  How come some things we may never recall again?  I mean, I remember a couple things about the day that my sister was born, but not even close to as clearly as the memory that I talked about above.  I think that most of what I “remember” of my sister’s birthday is based on what I have been told about it, and the photos that I have seen.  In some ways I think that doesn’t really count as my memory.  However, it seems like and event like my sister’s birthday would be more significant than the theatre.

So what makes a memory that lasts and surfaces?  Do you have any memories of odd events that stick out really clearly?






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