Friends,Ever had an old friend boast on your exploits? They describe the whole misadventure in rich detail. “I remember when this guy showed-up at Alexandra’s formal party at Hotel El Dorado, wearing white sandals and torn jeans and she had to be paged because they wouldn’t let him in...” You smile and nod, unable to recall any of it! You dig through your mental archives. Nothing. It sure sounds like something you’d do, are you losing your marbles? Of all the experiences memory retains, some more trivial than others, why didn’t this one make it through your thick skull?
Lately, it seems I retain less than I used to. After some angst, I’ve come to terms with the notion that experience is like a chisel, shaping the marble block of my life into a sculpture. I may not remember every stroke, but everything I do chips away at the old block, revealing my character. All those “lost” moments create the space my true self needs to manifest itself. Memory retains interesting, useful, comforting or impressive tidbits, slanted by my perspective —but by no means everything. As for the forgotten rest, it played a role in shaping me.
When imperfect memory is committed to paper and becomes history, facts seem set in stone. The illusion of having a perfect, impartial record of what actually happened is alluring. While some details may be off (and others missing), one hopes the spirit of history’s pages captures the essence of the moment —with some healthy wiggle room for interpretation. As you prepare to enjoy this long Independence Day weekend, grab a marble frosted donut and try to imagine living in those uncertain times. Don’t worry about making the experience memorable, just enjoy the ride.