Forgetting

Through some of my recent research I’ve started thinking about the concept of forgetting.  When you think about it memory is made up of both remembering and forgetting.  Memories aren’t truths because they never represent the full picture.  For everything that our brain places importance on, how many countless things have been discarded? Memory is a selection process.

A few years ago I started recording my dreams, convinced I could find some insightful narrative.  I found I started remembering them more clearly and more often if I wrote them down the moment I woke up.  But I couldn’t keep it up, the more I remembered of my dreams the more sleep deprived and crazy I felt.  As soon as I stopped recording them they disappeared quickly after I woke and somehow I felt as though I had really slept.  It seemed to me that the act of remembering my dreams worked against the sleep process, and undid the feeling of having experienced rest.

The whole experience made me appreciate the process of forgetting.  Forgetting my dreams became a relief.

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2 Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading about your recording of your dreams and how it created other problems, interesting. Besides memories having some truth and gaps or forgetting, memories must also be filled with myths, gaps we fill in with what we think happened. They could be stories of truth, blanks and make belief….

    1. I agree, I think there are many parts of memory that are self generated and not completely accurate. People fill in the gaps not only with what they think happened, but also with things that make for a more interesting or embellished story… my Nana used to do this when retelling experiences she had, they were never the same twice.

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