Last night I heard someone describe his "Memory Palace" as a huge place in his mind where he stored all his memories and could retrieve them easily. HAH!
He was a lot younger than me. Wait until he has 66 yrs to cram into that space!
I'm more realistic.
I think we start out with a memory closet. When we are really young we want to remember EVERYTHING! The closet is empty so there is plenty of room to put the memory of the fuzzy spider that scared you. You can put it next to the memory of the Praying Mantis that you sat and watched for hours waiting for it to move. It sat perfectly still and waited for YOU to move. Me-0, Mantis-1 He won.
The feel of your first kitten's fur, the sound of it's purr, the sight of it chasing a piece of yarn. Into the closet.
Being a child you didn't place them into the closet carefully. You tossed them in because after all, you had a lot of room. As you got older like age 10 or so...you didn't always put stuff in the closet. Like the homework that you didn't want to do. You might have flung in the 2 times table and part of the 5 times table. The rest of those times tables...? Maybe the spider ate them.
Then we hit the hormone ridden ages! The closet started to fill up with other things. The blue of your boyfriends eyes, the smell of his neck and the way his hair felt. The Christmas you got matching blue ski sweaters in light blue with designs in white. How proud you felt when you went out riding in his '57 Chevy Convertible. The pretty ring he gave you for your fifteenth birthday. Three light blue zircons set in a diagonal pattern. The way his lips tasted. Into the closet! These you stored a little more carefully than the spider and the mantis. Still lots of room though.
Then you have the memory of seeing him with another girl in his car when he was supposed to be hanging out working on his buddies cars. WHOA! That one took up a lot of room! So did the misery that followed it.
You slammed the closet door shut and locked it. You didn't want to remember any of that!
One day you decided to start to put a few fun memories in there. It was open again and you started storing some good stuff away. You didn't have to dig very deep to find the hurtful stuff because it was there and glowed like it was radioactive. You solved that by putting it deeper and piling a lot on it.
Eventually, you found someone who wanted to marry you. OK. Time to put more memories in there.
Then the memories of your babies and how they grew so fast! Lots and lots of those. Still seemed to have lots of room but you were more careful how you pushed them in. Leave a bit of room.
Good memories and bad memories. The good stuff you put in carefully and the bad stuff you shoved into the corner. You didn't want to remember your Dad's funeral. That got stowed deeply in the corner.
Years go by and you realize that you need to reach up a bit more to get your memories on the pile in the closet. You grow and your kids grow and you have grandsons and the hair is harder to keep colored.
One day you go to the drugstore and you can't remember what you went in there for. You forgot to put it in the closet!
That's going to happen a lot more in the years to come. Get used to it. Call it a "Senior Moment" if you will.
You can remember your Grandma's phone number but your zip code.......?
You find yourself spending more time on the floor of the closet along with the spider and the praying mantis.
After filling that closet for 66 years, I need a ladder to reach the top. I don't always bother to do that. I might
fling it up into the top of the memory pile but I sure don't spend the time I used to putting it all away carefully.
I might tell you I don't remember stuff but when you leave I get out the ladder and start looking for it. Sometimes I find it.....sometimes I find the blue ski sweaters nestled together.
I never know what the memory closet is going to allow to fall to the floor where I can see it......
I keep the door closed a lot more now than I did when I was young because I am not sure what will fall out.
I do see that I can smile over a lot of the memories that used to make me sad. Just because I can find them.
By Swampetta (SWAMPETTA@aol.com)