On the nature of memory and remembering

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1 Response

  1. Catherine Yasui says:

    In this article, you said:

    “It is one thing to go back over one’s own memories – events that shaped us, for better or for worse. But what is it that drives us to go back over events that we were not part of, that happened, in many cases, before we were even born? What is it that moves us to ruminate on the past?”

    My response:

    If I can use this analogy, I see the past, whether millions of years ago or yesterday, similar to space exploration. The fascination is in exploring what we do not know. Although we could arbitrarily segment the past, present & future for study, (like we might planets in our solar system), these time periods (and planets) are never really disconnected from one another.

    I am, perhaps, answering this from the way I see my life, that is, as an explorer. As a former archaeologist, I craved to know who had lived, and still lived, in various pockets of the Earth that were as unfamiliar to me as other planets would be – what was this place & who were these people; how did they live; what did they do? I was like a robot probe sent to investigate & learn.

    My mom and her life are like space…her life is a place I had not explored deeply, so I had little sense of what I might find should I go to investigate. One could say I had visited other planets but not one so close to home. My sharing simple conversations with my mom brings together bits and pieces of knowledge that reveals a landscape – nay, life – I never knew existed. Perhaps it is not even like space exploration since it is more like learning what is at the core of my own planet.

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