My son told me about a routine he heard on Comedy Central.
It went something like this:
Our brains lock away bad memories in a box. We throw the box off a cliff for a reason. Why would anybody in their right mind pay $200 an hour to get them back?
This seems like a good point, a logical question; and it is kind of funny.
However, I’m a believer in digging up the old stuff because doing so instructs our lives, keeps us conscious, and living with intention.
The opposite doesn’t work.
As a writer, I’m a memory archeologist. I spend a lot of time reflecting on all those old wounds and painful disappointments. Of course, I remember the good stuff too.
And once I write about a memory, and altered it in the name of creativity, it’s somehow changed forever. There are real instances where I can no longer remember what’s true and what I made up.
“Old memories are very easy to get, except that once you write about something, you’ve destroyed it. You no longer have the memory. You only have the memory of what you’ve written.” – Annie Dillard
This is interesting considering the controversy around repressed memories—if they can be retrieved and if they are valid.
Regardless, I’m a believer of paying attention.
According to Maya Angelou
But don’t worry mom and dad…