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Category: Aging, General / Topics: Memories Memory (failing, improving) Optimal Aging

Forgetters

by Dan Seagren

Posted: July 23, 2017

Recalling the fleeting moments of our lives…



Nic Osmond Photography

Forgetters. Another word not recognized by my computer brain, And may be non-existent, really. However, most of you readers probably know what it means. We'll explore it together. First, it is something to cherish. There are things we want to forget but find it difficult. Then there are things we forget that we want to remember. And then there seem to be memories hidden for a long time that emerge from their nap. At best, memory is a wonderful invention but so is the ability to forget so perhaps we ought to give our forgetters a little bit more credit.

Next, memory is a complicated part of our anatomy. I, not an expert on memory, must reflect on what others say. Wikipedia puts it like this: Memory is the faculty of the mind by which information is encoded, stored, and retrieved (Atkinson & Shiffrin, 1968). Memory is vital to experience. Without memory, we are not us. If we could not remember past events, we could not learn or develop language, relationships, nor personal identity (Eysenck, 2012). There is short-term and long term-memory, explicit and implicit functions and imperfections thanks in part to the brain. And there are synonyms like retention and cognitive psychology.

Memory shows up in albums, films, literature, technology, television and technology. For instance: Phase-change memory (PCM) was set to store 3 bits of data per cell for the first time. Now PCM – which is dramatically faster than flash memory and vastly more cost-effective. Memory in technology is a universal memory used in smartphones and notebooks currently by a combination of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) and flash memory. See what I mean? And it is changing, improving and becoming even more bewildering to many of us.

Then there is blank memory, unused memory, misused memory and don't forget forgetters. Or songs:

My world is like a river, it's dark as it is deep
Night after night the past slips in and gathers all my sleep
My days are just an endless stream of emptiness to me
Filled only by the fleeting moments of her memory.
Andy Williams   Sweet Memories

Oh, the days dwindle down to a precious  few
September, November
And those few precious days
I'll spend with you.
Frank Sinatra    September Days

 


Dan Seagren is an active retiree whose writings reflect his life as a Pastor, author of several books, and service as a Chaplain in a Covenant Retirement Community.

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Posted: July 23, 2017

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