Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Panic over?

As the train pulled into the station and I gathered my things together, I started to reach for the piece of paper where I had noted the details of the next part of my journey.

Then I realised I could remember them: the number of the bus I needed and the street where to find the bus stop. The kind of details I was used to forgetting as soon as I knew them.

That's exactly what happened at my wife's church on Sunday, where a family introduced themselves to us. At the end of the conversation I asked them their names again. They are with me still. So too are the names of the couple we met on 18 December, the second day of this experiment. Details I decide to remember are staying with me.

The discipline of remembering every day of the last two months has either switched something on in my brain or simply convinced me at a fundamental level that I can remember if I want to.

This is a new ability - or at least a vanished one recovered - and it feels fragile, not to be taken for granted or fully trusted yet. Too often I've felt the panic of a lost memory. But it feels exciting, like a new relationship.

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