memory- the mental capacity or faculty of retaining and reviving facts, events, impressions, etc., or of recalling or recognizing previous experiences.
says mr. webster.
i'm slightly notorious for not always going with webster. i generally prefer connotation to denotation. i am absolutely in love with the poem 'anyone lived in a pretty how town' simply for its connotation. if you love denotation, that poem will kill you. with a baseball bat.
so i'm thinking that this webster definition of memory is a little too technical. it's verbose, but isn't webster always? but here's the thing- we can't really make it less technical. i was honestly going to write this blog with my own definition of memory, and then i realized something.
i don't have one.
memory is something i want to try to wrap my brain around. i've been stewing on it for a while for a number of reasons.
1. i have a somewhat functioning photographic memory that generally works when i don't want it to.
2. there are people in this world that have perfect, flawless memories.
3. and there are people that have perfect photographic memories called eidetic memories.
my photographic memory is pretty spastic, but when it works, it works well. unlike my perfect pitch, it doesn't work on command, and if it did, i would've gotten a much better grade in my precalculus class. mostly it works with numbers and history texts. during history exams if i didn't know the answer, i could close my eyes and read the textbook, assuming i'd read it before. i also have a strange ability to memorize dates and numbers without trying. i don't necessarily think it's memorization, though, because they definitely have a memory context. i got my braces on february eleventh, i got them off and february third. this was almost nine years ago and i remember the dates. i went and got coffee with my friend ainsley on june twenty-fifth 2009, on april eighth 2009 my friend kevin told me he was methodist, and if you tell me your birthday, i'll probably remember it forever. i memorize music without trying to as well. i have never understood people who practice and practice to try to memorize musical pieces. it just happens to me. i can play piano songs from fourth grade, and if i get stuck, all i have to do is close my eyes and nine times out of ten, i can keep going. i also memorize neaningless numbers, normally locker combinations and license plates. i think the license plate thing could get me a steady job at the FBI. when i was eleven there was a black ford escape that cut off my father while we were driving in alabama- and i know its license plate number to this day.
the idea of a perfect memory simulatenously excites me and terrifies me. there are lots of things in my life i wish i could forget (like pointless dates, numbers, and fifth grade), but these select people with flawless memories know every moment they've ever lived through. can you imagine that? i would remember typing every word of this blog, how i felt while typing it, when i cracked my toes and ate a jelly bean. every moment has a fountain of memories, and they just build and build and build.
children between one and three years old have a kind of memory with language- they hear a word once, they assign meaning to the word by context, and they can use it. when we try to learn spanish in high school we have to repeat and repeat and repeat. wouldn't the world be wonderful if we could just hear it and pick it up like these children?
the memory that children have is possibly closely linked to eidetic memory, which is my photographic memory on steroids. people with these memories are able to read something or look at something and be able to recall it in perfect detail on command. since i'm still on my criminal minds kick i can reference reid, and if you've seen the show, you know what i'm talking about. he can recite the entire bible and memorize everything he's ever looked at.
since i have a small brush with this awesome memory, i have that fatal syndrome where you know what you could have but don't have it. and that's okay with me, because the more i look at it, the more terrifying and mysterious memory seems to be. i think i'll be okay walking around with dates, locker combinations, and history books in my head rather than an entire lifetime of EVERYTHING.
but it would be pretty sweet to be able to recite the bible. i can almost do it with harry potter.