Zumwalt Poems Online

Posts tagged ‘memory’

Thoughtful Thursday: Remembering the Memorable

Do you remember the most eventful and the more novel experiences more than the routine tasks?  Do you remember the first time you experienced something better than the 245th time, even when the first time was decades ago and the 245 time months ago?

Is part of this due to better remembering those times when you were fully involved as opposed to when you got through something primarily on auto-drive?

Or maybe part of this is just that we remember and retell to others those most exceptional and novel experiences and never think a second time about the less emotional, the less amusing and the less relatively meaningful experiences. The retelling or recalling something possibly is what makes such memories more permanent.  Maybe we really do remember the ordinary as well as the extraordinary — it is just that we revisit the extraordinary memories and leave the common, humdrum to rust away into oblivion.

Or perhaps, not so.  I sometimes have a dream about something I haven’t thought about in decades and then fully recall that event, whether particularly exciting or ordinary.  Or I see a photograph of something decades ago and I can lucidly recall posing for that picture.  Sometimes things can jog our memory.

However this works, one is more likely to remember more easily, and without prompts or dreams, those things that we were fully engaged in — those things that required us to fully be there and not be on auto-pilot.

It’s really impossible for all our experiences to be earth-shattering or essential experiences. And certainly we want to or need to do things additional times over and over.  I love watermelon and black cherries.  I will continue eating them even when given a choice between having them or eating something new that doesn’t particularly appeal to me. But do I eat absent-mindedly while watching TV or browsing facebook?  Or do I take a good look at each bite, feel the weight of the food, feel the texture in my mouth and then savor the burst of flavor?

Don’t take the current moment for granted.  Always participate fully in it. When you do, it is more likely to be more memorable and easier to remember.

 

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nevermore (original version)

nevermore

Missing the dead, more than, I suspect, they miss me, I somberly reflect:
the most recent, smell terribly,
                and the long departed are more like fallow soil than fellow souls;
I don’t want them to stagger and stumble like the living dead
or communicate to me while their face parts fall off;
I want to be around them like when they were at their best.

And so I go to memory,
that slippery, somewhat unscrupulous, disobedient vagabond
that tells the same stories and strays from the truth far too often —
each torturous tangle with memory takes something away
and provides nothing new —
this is no consolation for so many losses,
just needless punishment for keeping company with the only companion that cannot die
but only deteriorate.

— Zumwalt (2016)

(This is the original version, now verified as final version.)

nevermore

nevermore

Missing the dead, more than, I suspect, they miss me, I somberly reflect:
the most recent, smell terribly,
                and the long departed are more like fallow soil than fellow souls;
I don’t want them to stagger and stumble like the living dead
or communicate to me while their face parts fall off;
I want to be around them like when they were at their best.

And so I go to memory,
that slippery, somewhat unscrupulous, disobedient vagabond
that tells the same stories and strays from the truth far too often —
each torturous tangle with memory takes something away
and provides nothing new —
this is no consolation for so many losses,
just needless punishment for keeping company with the only companion that cannot die
but only deteriorate,
repeatedly
leaving me with less,
never more,
than that which
actually
once
was.

— Zumwalt (2016)

recollection

recollection

the roof is leaking

-zumwalt (1991)

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