Thursday, February 7, 2013

Imprints

Late February in Olema, 2012

Much of a truly gratifying experience rests in the remembering.  Possibly fifty percent.  Perhaps more.

These experiences, the best of them, cannot reach full potential before they are luxuriously looked back upon.  And the most special keep giving.  I return to them as I would a favorite painting in a museum.  I drink them in again and again.

Sometimes I notice myself in the moment, tracing every line of what I see, hear, and feel.  Drawing a picture I can return to later.

Nightmares are different.  I know I want to leave them behind and I ignore them in hopes of their evaporating, but they beg to be shared.  Sleepy and caught off guard, I often accommodate.  Sharing the grief upon waking does not help it dissipate, even if the sharing is only with myself.  Avoid any form of repetition.  It deepens the scar.

But these discomforting dreams, they are persistent.  I wake and they demand my attention.  They toss colorful pieces of themselves up into the air and taunt my curiosity.  Put me together.  Make sense of me.

29 comments:

  1. Love the first sentence -indeed wonderful to luxuriate in the memory of a treasured experience, over and over...

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  2. Fragments of experience, and sketching the moments for remembering later. I like that. I imagine you captured those jewels of time in Olema. Hooray for peaceful moments, quiet, vistas, water, trees...

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    1. I've captured much in that area. There is a lot to love. The memory above is from late February, last year.

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  3. Yes, the best moments become memories that improve over time, and thankfully even the worst improve in their own way with time. I'm sorry you're plagued by nightmares - perhaps it is in the air as I have been having increasingly strange dreams of late. Do you wonder what it is that your subconscious is trying to tell you? Or, like my dear mother, put it down to a little too much cheese before bed? Take care Annie x ps: thanks for the book recommendations :)

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    1. Luckily I don't have many nightmares, but I was having them during our little getaway. Nothing horrific, just uncomfortable odd dreams. Chris had them too. Could it have been the cottage? It's a mystery... I once read something that made a lot of sense to me. While we sleep our curious minds play with our recent experiences and piece them together in new ways. No real message, just play. So maybe we opened up the physical space and our minds had more room to get wacky. Or it could have been the cheese ; )

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    2. I like to view dreams that way - our brains processing all the millions of things in each day. No message, just reordering! Denise, I love your talk of memories, it's so funny how they shift and change over time.

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    3. Dreams, they can be mysterious. It's comforting to try and make some sense of them. And memories. What we save. It is a topic that has always intrigued me.

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  4. I've never thought of memories that way...almost a validation of the experience. Interesting... Isn't is strange what our minds will do when we are asleep? I've noticed similarly that certain times of year or places etc can cause me to have nightmares...often recurring ones that I've managed to forget and then all of a sudden they are there again. I don't question what they mean because I'm not sure I want to know.

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    1. The recurring nightmare. I have a variation on this theme, recurring events in different nightmares. My subconscious seems to enjoy changing things up a bit, yet still repeating certain things.

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  5. cheese.
    I think it was the cheese.

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  6. life is sometimes better in our memory, because we add our dreams to the equation. Now, nightmares...that's a different story. I hope your memories only hold the dreams.

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  7. Memories and dreams are different ways of making sense of our experiences and perhaps most importantly, with our feelings. Memories are colored by the feelings they evoke and I think the main truth of dreams is the way you feel about them.

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  8. ha.
    on the topic of memory making... i find experiences not favoured in the nick of time visit me afterwards and seem to get enriched {by what, i wonder? the mind, maybe?} to aye fond memory. and from that moment off, a new nice memory is born. and cherished. lovely! weirdly lovely...
    n♥

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  9. What I find interesting is memory's instability. How we steal and remix memories -- our own and others -- and tell ourselves this is True, this is Me. It makes me wonder whether memories, collectively, exist outside of the individual. I like the idea of wandering memories.

    Have you read this?

    http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/02/04/oliver-sacks-on-memory-and-plagiarism/

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    1. Thank you for this link, Rachael. I'm fascinated by the topic of memory. I think I'll read the original Sacks essay as well.

      I can't help but try and visualize a wandering memory. Is it similar to a snowflake, a raindrop, a tiny seahorse?

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  10. You know you are so right about memory and memories. Wandering, remixed and re-thought. Oliver Sacks has lots to say on this vast and elusive subject and he puts it so well. Snippets of thoughts meshed together to create new memories. I love it when you make me think.

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    1. You followed the link. I agree, pretty interesting stuff. Happy thinking.

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  11. I am a prolific reader. I am a competent utilitarian writer. I have never made an online comment before. But I would like to say....to read your writing, the spareness, the precision of distilling a big thought into meaningful sentences with rare skill is a treat to experience. Thanks for sharing your/my thoughts in such an intelligent way.

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  12. "Sleepy and caught off guard..." - Yes, sleep is like a glass of wine too many, isn't it? It makes the mind wander off on its own, and the mouth say more than it means to.
    Wonderfully written, Denise. Imprints, indeed.

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    1. The sleepy mind... We have to watch out for it so it doesn't get into too much trouble.

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  13. Hi Denise, I have missed coming here for the past several weeks. The topic of memories and realities is beyond fascinating. I remember (or I believe I remember) events, scenes from my childhood, age 2 and younger.I have also found photographs of me, my mom, a scene at a beach or a park from that time. And I wonder, Did the photograph trigger the memory? or did it create the memory?

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    1. Hi Nancy. Good to see you here. I have thought the same thing about various photographs from my childhood. I played around with the concept in graduate school and tried making new photographs from my memories of lost photographs. I wonder what we'd recall if we had no photographs of our past. I suppose we'll never know, but it is an interesting question to ponder.

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