Memories - what are they made of ?



As you get older, memories become an inherent part of your life. Everything that happens around you seems to have a connection with something that happened years and years ago. A lot of sentences seem to begin with - when I was young; or with sometime back. Every experience seems to be compared with another one that took place years earlier. No wonder our children begin to roll their eyes heavenwards when we only mention the words - when we were young.

What are memories made of ? A weird question - but I have started thinking about what is it that we remember. I can recollect the name of my teacher in Class IV but I cannot remember what I paid for a certain vegetable today.

Let me do some correlations of memories and how I react to things today :

I remember spending a lot of summer holidays writing essays. This was considered by my mother to be the best way in which to improve our English writing skills. When I became an English teacher, I would never ask my students to write essays - cause I disliked them so much, that I did not even want to correct any !!

Swimming - As children we were so fond of swimming, that if my parents could not locate any of us, they would immediately come to the club to look for us. To this day I would rather take my grandchildren for a swim than anywhere else. They have also imbibed a love for the water.

Arguments - we were taught from childhood to discuss all matters clearly. This further degenerated into a tendency to get into arguments. Between my brothers and myself we can easily get into an argumentative situation at the drop of a hat. But it is fun, and makes for very interesting conversations - maybe not for the listeners.

Memories of a loss : These seem to linger for years. We can never forget when we heard of the loss of someone dear to us. That moment is etched in our minds - whereas the actual death may not be. We can always remember where we were or what we were doing when we first heard. We always remember with clarity the moment when we realised that one of our family members is very ill. Maybe God feels that these memories help to make the loss easier to bear.

Food items : We carry our taste preferences from our childhood - what our mothers cool well - we love all through our lives. Each vegetable carries a memory with it - of being forced to eat them - or of mouth watering dishes being made with them. Think back - and you will realize that some particular cuisines are an inherent part of our lives. They hold memories of happy gatherings, or of a sad incident that took place while we were eating them. Some dish will remind you of happy school boarding days, some you will associate with illness.

These are what memories are made of - snippets or vignettes of incidents and thoughts of long ago or of the recent future. They affect our thought processes in unknown ways and somehow unknowingly they influence our decisions.

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