Working with computers has taught me that brains are funny things. With a computer, when something’s saved to the hard drive, it’s there. Barring outside influences that would cause physical damage to the disk, or a virus, the information’s there to stay. Even if you delete the file, it’s still actually there and can be recovered with a little effort. Only specifically deleting the file and overwriting it and making extra sure will get rid of it. If you run out of room on a drive, you can copy the files over to a bigger drive and add more stuff to it. You can copy the files to a more permanent medium, too, or print out a physical copy.
My brain, on the other hand, forgets things. All the time. When people ask me about something that happened last week, last month, or last year, I often joke “I don’t even remember what happened yesterday.” It’s only half a joke, really. The older I’ve gotten, the harder it’s become to keep things in my brain. Sure, big events stay there, but details go away quickly. Specifics fade and the dots all merge into a blob.
This isn’t a problem unique to me, of course. People have been forgetting things for as long as there’ve been people, I’m sure. And, just like me, people have done whatever they could to help them remember. Some build monuments. Some paint pictures. Some write books. Some have write songs. Some write diaries. Some get tattoos. Some wear specific clothes. Some eat specific foods. Some write blogs. Some wear specific scents. It’s all an attempt to recapture a time, to not forget.
It’s a losing battle, though. It’s inevitable, it seems, that we’ll forget things. All we can do is take every precaution. We set aside special days and we make whatever memorials we can and we try to remember. Our experiences make us who we are, so who are we if we forget them?
Try to remember me. I’ll do my best to remember you. Deal?