Monday, February 10, 2014

She that increaseth knowledge....


           I've been tiptoeing around the idea of writing memoir. But while my life goal since age 10 was to become a writer, and I lived a life full of adventure in order to have something to write about, I neglected to keep diaries or journals or much of my correspondence. Now I've few written records of my life and times.

Not to worry, I thought. I have a fine memory. Except for dates. I'm bad with dates. That's the reason I insisted Bob and I get married on Leap Year Day. Nice and easy to remember. Actually, it didn't help; I forgot our 25th. What can I say? It wasn't a leap year. 

However, I can still remember my phone number from 1951 (Grand 7-6927), the yellow and gray wool jumper I wore for Easter when I was five, my shock and awe at age ten of finding very sexy underwear in my maternal grandma's dresser.

Sadly, these brilliant flashes are about all I can conjure; the details are missing. And without context, I've no material to flesh out a genuine narrative.

Am I slipping down the ever-steepening slope of age into cognitive decline?

Research suggests the human brain has a mind of its own. It sorts through our daily 60-70,000 thoughts, daydreams, experiences, insights, anxieties and feelings of guilt, dumping what it deems irrelevant and consigning what's left to various storage files. Current theory holds that, like the computers that mimic our brain's storage function, files get misplaced, deleted or corrupted over time. 

But this weekend I read a brief article about a new study that concluded recall is poor in older persons simply due to our massive accumulation of stored knowledge. Said one of the researchers: "The brains of older people do not get weak. On the contrary, they simply know more."

We know too much! Why doesn't anyone listen!?

Anyway, the details are in there…somewhere. I'll put on my thinking cap and keep digging.

Rose with her thinking cap on.
If I don't come up with the threads to string my images together, I could adopt a suggestion by Jane Hertenstein from her Kindle book, Freeze Frame, How to Write Flash Memoir, and use comedian Stephen Colbert's concept of "truthiness." In other words, lie, but with my heart in the right place.

TimeHop, the latest app for the self-absorbed, would have solved my dilemma. TimeHop subscribers receive an email record of all the photos they've uploaded, Facebook status updates posted, and every tweet twated day by day for the previous year. In other words, you can spend your day tweeting and uploading and updating and, one year hence, download every bit of that day's virtual life and savor it all over again. Or as baseball-great Yogi Berra put it, "It's déjà vu all over again." And again. (

Love you, darlings
Aunt Rose

"....a fascinating principle of psychology: we believe stories more than we believe evidence."                          Alex Lickerman,
Happiness in this World

(Guess that's why we keep re-electing our same politicians.)

Lagniappe: It's a bit early for St. Patrick's Day, but for those who haven't seen this yet, here's the Irish Cup Song performed by 600 Irish school kids: Great fun.      (Thanks, Kay, for sending it along.)


  1. I can't wait to read what I don't know about you, my dear friend, or at least what you think you know about you. I remember when my late brother Phil and I used to reminisce about our childhood, which each remembered different. These walks down memory lane always brought arguments about who was right. I tend to think we both were. It's all in the memory of the beholder. Good luck remembering and writing.

  2. Rose, ingenious idea about your wedding date, but I have a question. If you celebrated your 25th, does that mean you have been married 100 years? Just wondering because that part wasn't too clear to me.