Monday, 7 October 2013

The Memory: Does Daydreaming Create a Black Hole?

Recently I returned to Calgary to visit my family. Over a delicious curry dinner, my sister and I had a conversation about memory.

My memory is very bad and for many years I believed it was because of some sort of deficiency in my brain or because of stress or perhaps my life wasnt exciting enough to remember. But my sister brought up something interesting.

Maybe I can't remember my parts of my life because I spend so much of it daydreaming.

I mean, when I'm dreaming in sleep,  I can't remember anything. Perhaps it applies to daydreaming. As writers we are often in our worlds and every moment we are in that world we can't consciously be part of our own.

Could it be that simple? What do you think? How's your memory?

41 comments:

  1. I usually can't remember what I had for dinner last night...
    For most things, I remember well. If it's something important my wife told me, that's where it fails. And as far as remembering my dreams, I rarely do.

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  2. My memory is LOUSY and much worse than when I was younger, so I think there is something to this. My memory lapses, though, started before the writing. I think it has to do with attention... if you pay attention and process, stuff can transfer into memory... Anymore, I just am often not quite paying attention.

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    Replies
    1. I guess I need to start paying attn to the real world more.

      Delete
  3. Hey, Clarissa,
    I've missed your posts. You may have a point here. Sometimes I worry about the amount of things I can't remember, but then half the time I'm not in the present moment because during conversations my mind tends to wander and I only hear half of what said.

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    Replies
    1. Exactly! Im not repressing memories, I dont have any to begin with.

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  4. I can't remember ANYTHING. Must mean I daydream a lot.

    Your sister lives in Calgary? Really? Did I know that? We're living in Alberta now (Cold Lake) and I am just loving this western life! Say hi to your sis for me... we're almost neighbours!

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  5. Huh. I hadn't actually thought about that. You could have a very good point. I guess that's why we can't hear what people are even saying sometimes when our heads are elsewhere.

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    Replies
    1. I don't know how many times people have told me to pay attention. Thanks for stopping by.

      Delete
  6. This is my second comment. So if you got the first, then sorry about that.

    I think (and I'm going out on a limb to say this) that writers are daydreamers. If that is true and there is a daydreamer black hole, that explains so much about me and my memory issues.

    Love your post and the title.

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  7. For me it's definitely age! :-) Take care
    x

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  8. I don't care as much about my memory as I used to. Lots of useless facts, figures, and trivia I don't need and other people do not care about.

    I do daydream a lot. Helps me write and be forward thinking.

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    Replies
    1. I think I would feel bad if my daydreaming memory went too. I need that memory to write as well.

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  9. Your sister could be right. When I'm in the writing zone, I let go of a lot of stuff. Having said that, when I'm not in that zone, my memory's everyone Waterloo, LOL!

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  10. I think memory is like a muscle: you need to use it to get the most out of it. Playing memory games and working your memory out will make it easier for you to recall details. Associating events with pictures is a good way to do it. But I think memory, like anything else, requires effort for most people.

    If you spend a lot of time daydreaming and not trying to recall things, then you probably are letting that atrophy.

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    Replies
    1. Yikes. You're scaring me. Im going to have to try harder.

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  11. That's a scary thought, but it makes sense. That's why my brain has those huge gaps sometimes. Curry dinner, by the way, sounds delicious.

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  12. I remember stupid stuff. Things I had to memorized in high school. Song lyrics. Dialogue from plays and movies. People love me when we're playing trivia. But important stuff - names, faces, appointments, things I promised to do for someone...gone.

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  13. It depends. If I'm your crit partner, I will remember chapters you gave me years ago and incorporate that into my crit. Other things, I'm a sieve. I daydream a lot. I think it makes sense.

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  14. I'm totally latching onto your sister's idea. My memory is a wee faulty so I like her theory!

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  15. What a fascinating question, Clarissa!! I think that we process a lot more than we think we do. It's just that we remember things that are salient to us. And we choose not to remember things that aren't important, are very painful, or simply aren't relevant. It's more complicated than that of course, but in general I do think we're selective about what we remember.

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  16. Never looked at it that way, but it does make sense. Intriguing thought to ponder.

    Mason
    Thoughts in Progress

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  17. Hi Clarissa .. I have a good memory - always have at the general information - useless at school .. but today a bright spark. It's irritating at times!

    I don't dream much .. but sometimes the things I hear at night stick around ...

    However I have so much information .. I then can't get the words out - doesn't seem to matter - the English language always has another and I slot that in ...

    But interesting thoughts .. I don't dwell on things that are of no value - things I don't consider of value .. ie celebrity bumph!! Cheers and glad you obviously had some happy times back with the family and your sister .. cheers Hilary

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  18. We remember trillions of things without being aware that we remember them. They just appear when we need them. There are many memories we don't need to remember, so we don't know they're there. What you're really talking about, I think, is recall. How do we recall a memory? How do we access it? If we don't remember something, or can't access it, easily, then maybe we don't need to remember it. I wouldn't worry about it at all.

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  19. Although, my overall memory is still pretty good, my short term memory hasn't done as well. Perhaps the fact that my formative years took place during the 60's and 70's has something to do with it. So, I guess I'm blaming it on Timothy Leary and Owsley Stanley. I'm sorry, what was the question/

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  20. For the most part, my memory is good. However, there are parts that aren't. Those parts are in times that were really stressful. So I think stress plays one part. I'm sure other things do, too. I daydream a lot, so I don't know about that. Possibly.

    Glad you enjoyed visiting your family!

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  21. I feel like I daydreamed and doodled my way through highschool. So yeah, there are some gaps there...

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  22. Unfortunately, I remember everything... and it's constantly replaying in my mind... like hell on steroids.

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  23. It must be so sad not to remember dreams, as they are often so exciting. I would think daydreams would be easier to recall, as we often put ourselves into our daydreams. I have an excellent memory, which is both good and bad. There's some things I'd rather forget, lol, but no, they're in my brain forever.

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