Saturday, 28 January 2012

The difference remembering makes

As today is 28 January, I think back to where I was and what I was doing on 28 December.

It was the last day at my parents before heading to Newtown to move into the flat we were renting.
 My memory tag is walking with them to a café at a country park.

My father used a stick and shuffled much more than in the past. We had always been good walkers and his age was showing.

From this image, I can recall the queue in the café, busy with people still on their Christmas break. The table where we sat. The scone I cut into pieces to share as no-one else had wanted to order anything to eat when they had the chance.

Travelling on into the city to go shopping. My father going to the post office and then to take the bus home, while we continued. The books I bought. Lunch with my wife and mother.

That evening we watched an episode from a television series my mother had received on DVD as a present.

I can't remember what we ate. Details of food are generally not sticking in this process of remembering each day, but then I am making no effort to remember them.

In fact, the only effort I am making is to retain the memory tag image. From that other details flow.

But I am not like Sherlock Holmes, able to replay a scene to pluck out the smallest detail. Whether this will change as this experiment continues remains to be seen.

A further month back and 28 November is before I began this process of remembering. Yet I know it was the day we left my parents after our first visit on arriving back in the country the week before.

I know - rather than remember - that we drove back to Newtown, to the room and the suitcases that was home while flat hunting. I can picture being in that room, but it is a generalised memory, not a memory of that day from two months ago.

Back another month and my memory is more indistinct still.

On 28 October, we were somewhere in between the relatives of my wife, saying our goodbyes. I can't say where, without seeking out some physical evidence of our passage through that day.

This is a measure of the difference remembering makes to me.

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