Memory is a mystery: years of experiences are compacted into some enigmatic space, or spaces, in the brain. Memory is inconsistent: we remember some things well. Some, not so much. Memory can be faulty; “has it really been that long since we talked?” Memory can be debilitating; ask a combat veteran, or someone who suffered childhood misadventure. And memory can be exhilarating: think about the time you first met that special person in you life.
If we’re fortunate, recollections continue to float to the surface of consciousness. We celebrate anniversaries, mourn losses, share old fellowships, and play Jeopardy. But how do we sort out the order of this jumbled collection of events and happenings of a lifetime? It seems a calendar is necessary. What happened before this? Did that really come after such and such? And for many of us, numbers that end in zero mark special occasions to recall past events with solemnity or joy.
Through all of 2018, now about to close, every month has evoked a vivid memory from fifty years ago. Fifty, a nice round number ending in zero. Vivid recollections. All too vivid. Continue reading “Christmas 2018”