Monday, March 28, 2016

What happened....NEXT?

How did it turn out?  What happened?  I mean what happened NEXT?  And then, what happened?  The story can come to an end: The End, Fin.  It can arrive at the present moment, catching up to us and "where we are in time", now.  For further information, see tomorrow's news reports or call us.   But even when we think of a time in the past ( Remember that time when our bus tried to make the curve in a little Italian neighborhood and got stuck?), the details, the fore and aft of the story grow faint.  When was that, exactly?  Who was with us?  What did we do next?  What did we do then?  We can't answer all the questions and we can't fill in all the gaps.

When we had been married for 50 years, we made a deck of index cards, one for each married year.  For some years, we could not recall a single event for that whole year!  We could have fudged a bit and put in the birthdays that mathematically had to have been in that year.  We could have listed the main holidays like Valentine's Day and Labor Day but we wanted to actually recollect, see?, re-collect, memories and experiences of that year but nothing came to mind.  We have many photos and with effort, we might have found some on the computer whose properties, metafiles, would have given the date of a missing year.  We could have gone through old checks to see where we spent money and on what.

Scientists now say that every time a memory is pulled into consciousness, it is altered slightly.  I suspect that my basic impulse or feeling about the memory, even before recalling it, affects how it will be tainted when I think of it.  If that time is associated with losing my wallet or being in a car accident, some of the laughter and cheer related to the memory might get deleted.  If I want that to be a time of little or no cheer, I will probably strip a little of the fun out of the memory just to make it fit that part of my mental scrapbook better.

We don't want to die and if we do, we often try to persuade our friends and loves to remember us.  They often tell us they will and they will hold us in their hearts forever.  Sometime between 18,000 and 12,000 years ago, native Americans came to this continent.  Ok, they weren't native at first because they were born elsewhere.  The trek from the top of Canada down into South America had to have taken a long time, many generations and many lives ended along the way.  Meanwhile, William the Bastard, later to be William the Conqueror, if you know what's good for you, lost soldiers in a battle for England.  You and I don't know each of the native Americans who died on the migration nor each of the soldiers who died in the battle of Hastings.  Some are just forgotten and that's ok.

Eventually, the memories will just trail off into time and that too is ok.

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