Do you have moments that remain in your memory, and you’re not sure why? I’m not talking about the birth of your child, or wedding day, I’m talking about a seemingly insignificant conversation, or a person you met once and then never saw again. Or a random moment that you witnessed, and though you didn’t know the participants it stayed with you, even haunted you.
Do you have moments that remain in your memory, and you’re not sure why? I’m not talking about the birth of your child, or wedding day. I’m talking about a seemingly insignificant conversation, or a person you met once and then never saw again. Or a random moment that you witnessed, and though you didn’t know the participants, it stayed with you, even haunted you.
Those are the things that this writer draws on.
The most common question writers get asked is, “Where do you get your ideas?” The standard answer is from everywhere, and that is so true. I’m inspired by things I read, see, and wonder. Newspaper articles. Random comments by friends. Song titles. Everything.
But sometimes… sometimes… I dig back into my memory file, the one that sits on the hard drive that is my brain. Magically a moment will pop up, an image so striking in its clarity and so vivid I can smell the scent of lilacs on the air, hear the wind in the treetops, feel the sun on my face. I’ll hear the conversation, or see the occurrence, and remember intensely. It’s wonderful when that happens.
However, the image or memory doesn’t just get transferred onto the page. It’s a tiny lump of clay to be played with, formed, rejected and re-formed into something else. A bit from here, a bobble from there and before you know it, it’s unrecognizable as the original. I don’t know if I’m explaining it right, but the idea or memory comes to me, and I think it over, remember my reaction, thinking about why the memory matters so much. Does it confirm or challenge my set of beliefs? If it challenges what I know of people, what does that mean? Does it mean I’m wrong, or does it simply mean there’s something I’ve not taken into consideration? Sometimes I use only a bit of that memory, just a fragment that I fit into what I’m writing, like the missing puzzle piece I’ve been hunting for, for hours.
But I’ve wondered something over the years: Is that how everyone’s mind and memory works? Is it just that other folks don’t write down their thoughts, so it never gets recorded? Or do most folks just love to visit a memory without judgment, like going back home for a short visit?
How does memory work for you? Is it pure nostalgia, or do you play with the thoughts, testing your reactions, wondering if you are remembering it right? Do you look back with an older eye and understand the memory better for it?
Or do you let it be what it is, your memory, there to visit when you want?
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